Eric Boullier says Lotus just need to 'cool down' Romain Grosjean after Monaco GP shunts
Team boss also says no thoughts of putting Valsecchi in car
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 27/05/13 6:27pm
Lotus boss Eric Boullier has offered words of encouragement to Romain Grosjean and insisted he isn't worried by the Frenchman's driving despite him being involved in three separate crashes at the Monaco GP.
Grosjean's ability to marry his undoubted speed with a more controlled style was called into question once again over the course of the Monte Carlo weekend after he twice crashed into the barriers in practice before ploughing into the back of Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso under braking for the harbourside chicane during Sunday's race.
That latter incident earned the Frenchman a ten-place grid penalty for next week's Canadian GP and a further raft of criticism, with Ricciardo labelling the incident "quite dangerous".
But Boullier, who doubles as both Grosjean's team boss and manager, says while he will sit down with the 27-year-old to assess where his weekend went wrong, the 27-year-old had simply become frustrated at being unable to capitalise on what had been strong pace around the street circuit - particularly after he felt that Ricciardo had ruined his attempt to make Q3 on Saturday.
Asked what Lotus were going to do about Grosjean, Boullier replied: "Keep the pace and make sure he's back under control like he was at the beginning of the season.
"[We will] sit down with him and let's go through the weekend. It's always the same story, especially in Monaco. He had the pace, we could see it. It's even more frustrating because of that. Thursday's accident didn't help but it happens. The rest of the story went worse on Saturday morning. I think building up his frustration was Ricciardo, who didn't allow him to complete the Q2 like he should have done and [being] 13th on the grid just finishes the frustration.
"I think we just need to cool him down and have a proper discussion when we are back in the factory."
Grosjean was made to sweat over his future at the Enstone team at the end of last season after a string of first-corner collisions had ultimately resulted in a one-race ban for the Italian GP.
The Frenchman, who admitted over the winter that he had some sessions with a sports physiologist, had hitherto experienced a largely incident-free start to 2013 and Boullier believes it is just a case of the former GP2 Champion needing to managing his emotions better.
"It's not a worry," he insisted.
"He did a great job over the winter and fixed all the problems he had last year, I think it's just frustration sometimes that he knows he can be fast and he just needs to build himself and say he is fast and he can deliver some big results.
"He did it in Bahrain, he was on his way to do it in Barcelona so it's just not losing the momentum and making sure he's back on track with a real expectation."
The Monaco incidents nevertheless managed to renew speculation about the Frenchman's position at the team.Asked if he had considered giving Grosjean's seat to Lotus's reserve driver, reigning GP2 Champion Davide Valsecchi, Boullier chuckled before saying: "Not yet."