Boullier coy on Grosjean future
Lotus make clear that they want Romain to clean up his first-lap act
Last Updated: 13/10/12 6:59am
Eric Boullier has refused to confirm that Romain Grosjean will retain his seat with Lotus for next season in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports F1.
While Grosjean's pace is undoubted, his second stint in F1 has been increasingly dogged by controversy - and crashes. In total, the Frenchman has been embroiled in seven first-lap accidents in fourteen races this season and was handed the first race suspension in almost twenty years after sparking a five-car pile-up in Spa. And now, following his latest indiscretion, which saw him ram into the side of Mark Webber's Red Bull in Suzuka, it appears as if Grosjean has been forced to enter the last-chance saloon.
Whilst Boullier has always publically backed Grosjean, it is clear the 26-year-old must cut out the errors in the remaining five races if he is to be certain of a seat for 2013.
Grosjean 2013 seat unclear
Asked if he could justify retaining Grosjean on current form, Boullier replied: "I will tell you that obviously by the end of the season. We are now a couple of races to go through and make sure he understands the message and he's delivering at the start what we expect him to deliver.
"I think the kid has the speed and obviously if you look at the global picture of this season and if you fix this issue at the start of the race he did a very decent job and he will deserve to have another chance in Formula 1, at least longer term."
Intriguingly, Boullier also claims he's already seen a big change in the Grosjean's attitude since the criticism at Suzuka just six day ago.
"I have to say Romain since Suzuka, or even before let's say, has drastically changed and got more matured."
Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle admits he feels sorry for Grosjean, but knows the Formula 1 is a ruthless business.
"Both Johnny Herbert and I did a pretty good job in that team when it used to be called Benetton and we got fired at the end of the season," he said.
"I just want to hug the guy because I think he is going through a terrible time, but he is a good racing driver.
"The first thing I'd say is has he checked his eyes, is he in the right position in the car, are the mirrors right? - the mechanical side of it.
Analysing Grosjean's first-lap collisions
"Then why is he having these accidents? Is it because he is putting himself into dangerous positions or probably more critically is he not recognising when these incidents are unfolding and taking proactive action.
"Some people struggle - I know someone who has descripa, the way you absorb information and use it, and there might be something specific to Grosjean. We have seen him in wheel-to-wheel action and he is very good during the race. So it is the start situation, under pressure and it ought to be fixable.