Grosjean to get grid penalty in Germany

2012 German Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean will have a five-place grid penalty for the German Grand Prix.

The Lotus driver suffered a gearbox problem on the final lap of the previous race at Silverstone.

Lotus technical director James Allison said: “It was a gearbox problem and we are very fortunate that Romain didn’t have the problem earlier in the race.

“Unfortunately for Romain it means he’ll take a five place grid penalty at Hockenheim, but he certainly showed at Silverstone that dropping down the order won’t stop him challenging at the sharp end.”

Grosjean also had a technical problem in the previous race, retiring from second in Valencia with an alternator failure. Allison confirmed the team had changed how they ran the car at Silverstone in order to alleviate the strain on the alternator.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Grosjean to get grid penalty in Germany”

  1. At least he won’t have to have a bad qualifying to start in the midfield. Maybe now he can make a pole time, and start 5th!

    1. Aditya Banerjee (@)
      13th July 2012, 16:25


    2. @Max Moro: Subscribe, not at all much effort for an easier life…

  2. I Love the Pope
    13th July 2012, 15:45

    This guy has been incredibly unlucky this year.

    1. I laughed. A lot of people changed gearboxes and had the penalties.(Raikkonen too).

    2. It’s Romain second technical glitch, its unlucky but in comparison to some that’s nothing.

  3. Just no clean weekend for Lotus. Something always happen to them. Their win is long overdue as Karun himself wrote for ESPN. Maybe Kimi could deliver a win this time.

    1. I think Grosjean is looking the more likely winner for Lotus at the moment. You never know, though, Kimi has been very consistent and could pick up a win one of these days if a couple of front-runners drop out.

      1. They dont have to drop out in order for him to win, he just needs to qualify at front and not waste time on slower cars.

  4. Lotus should have won 2 races by now, just seem to lack that something the other top teams have.

    1. I will never agree with these, ‘such and such a team/driver SHOULD have won’ arguments. It’s perfectly valid to say they COULD have won; but at the end of the day the driver who wins is the one who makes the best of the hand dealt to them. The end result is a combination of both driver and team performance, if one side doesn’t hold up its end then the result won’t be the best it could have been and another driver/team combination will take the win.

    2. They certainly seem fast enough to win but have either made mistakes or had problems. I think they will get it together this season at least once.

  5. matthewf1 (@)
    13th July 2012, 16:25

    A nice early excuse in place why Lotus don’t win yet again his season.

    1. matthewf1 (@)
      13th July 2012, 16:25

      *this season.

      1. matthewf1 (@)
        13th July 2012, 16:50

        Actually, even more likely now is yet more brown-nosing of Grosjean, who ‘despite his five place grid penalty, finishes a creditable 4th in Germany’, and gets numerous driver of the day votes for another modest drive.

        1. Yeah, I have been wondering about that, both ways actually.

          Before the season started, the news was all about Kimi’s glorious (or not) return and Grosjaen was just kind of a footnote in that he, too, was coming back into F1.

          Now, it’s like journalists have remembered that they didn’t like him before because he is awkward to interview and all of a sudden, all the news is about Grosjaen and how good a job he is doing, with small footnotes for Kimi’s results and nothing at all about his performances. No considerations for the fact that Kimi doesn’t naturally turn in aggressively (unlike for a certain mr. Button), as the Pirellis require and that Grosjaen was of course the Pirelli test driver at one point. It’s all “Kimi was a world champion, so he should be handily beating Grosjaen”. Which coincidently, according to the points he is doing, despite being out-qualified although perhaps with the adjective “handily”.

          Anyway, I am an admitted fan of Kimi’s, but I like Grosjaen and I’m glad that he got another shot, he’s taking it with both hands and he’s getting good press along with it. It’s just a bit bemusing to see how the press works.

          1. I’ve never once been convinced of Räikkönen, and this season – even taking into account acclimatization – Kimi has done nothing to change that. Always overrated…

          2. @ral, I don’t think it’s that bemusing. Grosjean has on occasion delivered more impressive performances in the race than Raikkonen, who is a world champion with some 10 seasons of experience under his belt. I think that is worthy of note.

          3. @AdrianMorse, pSynrg

            Sure, with preferrential in-season testing, first-to-receive-updates advantage, no steering wheel issues, no differential issues, no kers issue, lesser strategy goof ups, multi-tiered seating setup, Pirelli test driving knowledge crucially against a Pirelli virgin in a tyre-dictated season, Romain-this Romain-that PR drive, Lotus chief managed blue-eyed boy, Qualifying preference, Driving a car that gets stronger towards the race end and…….I’d not be surprised if even Karthikeyan had started registering podiums. The team is not called GROTUS for no reason.

            And Kimi is rightly ‘overrated’….after all, he needed FOUR races for his first podium, with 3 podiums with one near-win in ONLY his first year of comeback …and while other drivers fell by the wayside thanks to the ‘mad’ bull, he showed maturity( 10 seasons! ) to hang on as every point counts( who else could know better……2007 )……with ‘seasoned’ Pirelli drivers struggling, he outshone them with experience(with the tyres) far lesser than the total number of Bernie’s wives……I could go on, but the bottomline you want is that Kimi is overrated……YEAH, WHATEVER!

          4. @f1lunatic, I never said Kimi is overrated. I did say that Grosjean’s performances (some of them, at least) have been remarkable. And don’t you think you’re going a little overboard with the Grosjean is lucky/favoured/whatever arguments?

        2. You actually believe Grosjean is getting preferential treatment. I think this kind of speaks for itself with regard to Räikkönen.
          Grosjean is not getting preferential treatment. I don’t know this for a fact, just as you don’t know the opposite.
          But it’s a lot more plausible than the raft of excuses you’ve just come up with to justify Räikkönen getting his ice-cream handed to him on a stick…

          1. Oh and 2007? Handed to him on a plate by a massively distracted Alonso and a rookie Hamilton…

          2. You’re right, Grosjean is not getting preferential treatment. And the proof is: 22 bloody points difference, in favour of Raikkonen. Raikkonen is not overrated(because he is WC), Grosjean is overrated because he is just a kid, which errors and stupidity doesn’t count…But, if you compare with others who were kids(Hamilton, Vettel…) he is the worst kid.

          3. --- (@brazil2007)
            13th July 2012, 22:22

            Yeah. I agree. Kimi didn’t fight for that at all, did he? He had an inferior car, which obviously helped him. Then he had to deal with several potential wins that were thrown away like the German GP (engine failure while running 3rd and gaining on the leaders) and the Japanese GP (Ferrari putting the wrong tyres on his car in heavy rain). Yup, it was definitely very easy for Kimi. A walk in the park, wasn’t it?

            He fought during the whole season, and it paid off in the end. Nobody ever gets handed a championship for free, and Kimi is no exception.

          4. An inferior car? You mean the F2007, constructors championship winning car? A car that gave Massa 3 wins in the same season?

            Still not convinced…

          5. Doesn’t matter what car he had..He won it!! And you are so upset beacuse of this…What? You are a Hamilton fan? Or..Alonso? Ohh,,.. you’re french and you are supporting Grosjean in doing what he do best(accidents in first lap)…

          6. I’m not upset :) I’m just saying I think Räikkönen is overrated. He’s simply not in the same league as for e.g. Häkkinen, Alonso, Schumacher, Vettel, Hamilton. Yet he is often spoken of as if he were.
            I’m first and foremost a fan of F1. While Räikkönen was away playing with other cars (that were too much for him) I didn’t miss his presence one bit.

          7. --- (@brazil2007)
            14th July 2012, 3:01

            A few things here:

            -Yes, the F2007 was inferior to the McLaren. If you watched F1 that year, than you should have noticed it. Also, Massa was a pretty good driver back then. People seem to forget that Hungary 2009 ever happened.

            -Kimi has had a career of highs and lows, but his highs were achievements that truly demonstrate his skill as a driver. Could Vettel go from 17th to 1st like Kimi did in Suzuka? Probably not. If Hamilton had been driving that truck of a McLaren in 2004, would he have been able to hold off Michael Schumacher at Spa? Not a chance. You have to give this guy credit for what he’s done.

            -One final thing. I know you’re probably a Hamilton or Alonso fan, or something along those lines. That’s fine. But even if you can’t cheer for Kimi on the track, can’t you at least appreciate his personality. I mean, look at the average modern F1 driver. These guys don’t have a mind of their own when they speak to the press. They say whatever their team instructed them to say, they make excuses for their mistakes, and they complain about their team’s struggles. Kimi doesn’t do that. He’s completely honest about whatever happened, all the time. When was the last time you saw Kimi say “Our setup was bad, so it didn’t work out”. Or, “I couldn’t get heat into the tyres”. He just says that he wasn’t fast enough. Not only that, but he’s also very funny.

            Sorry if I sound angry in the way I wrote. I just had to get my fanboy rage out of my system. No hard feelings :)

          8. @brazil2007

            even if you can’t cheer for Kimi on the track, can’t you at least appreciate his personality

            On the contrary, I respect his abilities totally but I’m not in the least impressed by his attitude.

          9. No hard feelings taken at all. I think this is an intriguing argument about whether Kimi’s reputation is justified or not. It’s good to see fans get behind the driver they support (not necessarily exclusively). 2007 was of course an unusual season to say the least.
            Rookie Hamilton shaking the foundations, Alonso apparently ruffled and obviously uncomfortable at McLaren. Hungary. Spy-gate (for want of a better term) and exclusion of McLaren from the CC for allegedly using Ferrari tech and one mega-fine.
            Credit where it’s due then, I can’t remember Räikkönen getting involved in any of this in any way and just getting on with it and bagging the WDC. As elsewhere hand-bags were whirling and toys surrounded prams.
            In terms of my expectations then I’d rank Räikkönen slightly ahead of Massa (pre or post head-trauma) but behind the generally accepted top drivers.

        3. @AdrianMorse , from 11th to 2nd in Bahrain…that was impresive. And he overtaked everybody on circuit, except Hamilton who had problems at pits, and many without DRS. That was impressive… If you say that Raikkonen didn’t impresed you this seasson,then in my oppinion, you are watching F1 only for the crashes.Proof: you are very impressed by Grosjean who has lot of accident this seasson.

          1. @sorin, if you are going to make this a personal attack by stating that I’m someone who only watches for the crashes, at least have the decency to read what I actually wrote. I never said, or implied, anything negative about Raikkonen. Moreover, I thought I had stressed enough that on some occasions Grosjean impressed more than Raikkonen. Obviously not on those occasions that Grosjean crashed out or Raikkonen did a better job.

  6. I doubt he or the team are really that bothered, just one of them things. Hopefully he won’t taker himself out trying to make up all 5 spots on the first lap.

  7. wouldn’t be supriced if one of the Lotuses makes the podium or even wins the next race. They really seem to be flying nowadays, and only bad qualifying performances are in their way for winning a grand prix.

  8. I don’t like the way these cost-cutting-inspired rules interfere with the sporting side of things, and I wish they would do away with these gearbox penalties. The engine rules work pretty well because a) you only get a penalty once you use more than 8 engines, and b) because it seems to me that engine failures are more closely related to mileage, thus being more predictable. Gearboxes, on the other hand, still look more susceptible to random failures. I would hate for the championship decider (let’s hope we get one this season) to be influenced by a cost-cutting measure on a part that is hardly a significant portion of a team’s budget.

    1. I agree as well. I was just thinking about it when I read the headline. Giving a 5 place penalty for a gearbox change seems unfair. To top it all, the penalty equates for avoidable incidents as well. Maldonado after repeated infringements gets just reprimands or fines or at most a 5 grid drop. The rules shows the lack of parity and clear definitions of the rules.

    2. So you’d rather teams unable to afford to race because they cant afford to change a gearbox after every Grand Prix? Gear boxes arent cheap. They cant just nip down to kwikfit and have a new one made up over night and put in. Costs have been cut for a reason. The sport was unsustainable and spiralling out of control. Nowadays the teams can actually make a profit when they compete in a championship rather than throwing money at a wall and seeing what sticks.

      I’m all for it. It drives manufacturers to produce better components, which in turn will eventually filter down to road technology.

      1. Indeed. The only change to the gearbox rules for 2012 is the removal of the “joker” rule, which allows for one free change over the course of the season without penalty. And as we’ve seen several times this year, a driver’s starting position doesn’t necessarily dictate his finishing position. After all, Grosjean went from twenty-third on the road to sixth by the end of the race at Silverstone. If Lotus can play their strategy right (for once), Grosjean’s penalty will be negated.

        In fact, this might be the best thing that could happen to the team. They’ve been a bit too conservative at times this year, and I think that is what has robbed them of the success they are capable of. They haven’t wanted to push for first place, because doing so might cost them second if they get it wrong. But with Grosjean five places down, it might inspire them to throw caution to the wind a little and play a risky strategy.

        Of course, they’re only two points in front of McLaren in the World Constructors’ Championship, and eight behind Ferrari, so there’s still a lot to play for. One solid finish – especially if they get both cars home in front of Felipe Massa – could see them take second overall. But solid finishes won’t keep them there for long. They need a daring streak about them, because if they succeed in passing Ferrari, Ferrari will just throw everything they have at catching Lotus back.

  9. Carlito's way
    13th July 2012, 21:24

    Must agree with the comments above, Kimi has got to be the most overrated driver of the past 10 years. Button’s a close second.

    1. “Kimi has got to be the most overrated driver”- yeah you’re right. Jean Todt was so stupid when he hired him at Ferrari. He did nothing, only won the WC. But this is not enough in your view…. ***!?

    2. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
      14th July 2012, 12:12

      Hey, Kimi was fastest, is fastest and wil be the fastest driver on the grid. The problem is that his attitude to racing considered as unappropriate. Fo him racing is fun, entertainment, and not a work, like with Alonso.
      Secondly, you would better appreciate his driving properly: he is the one (with Nando and Niko) who finished in all races. He didn’t score any point only in China thanks to the team.
      To my mind, he is lacking aggressiveness. He is too cautions at the moment. Remember Alonso in 2010? Same thing. This is normal for this year. Rules changed, so Kimi shows great form and flexibility.
      And do not forget about a lot of problems that team Lotus has faced.
      PS: unequal treatment? Grosjean had new front wing in Valencia, Raikkonen – didn’t.
      PSS: I can’t see any point in equalling Vettel with Alonso. Both of them are talented, but Vettel won almoust all his races from pole. That means: he had faster car. Nando (Kimi) has one not only from 1 place on the grid, which is achievement.

      1. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
        14th July 2012, 12:26

        Nando (Kimi) has won not only from 1 place on the grid, which is achievement.

  10. Pf. All these heated ‘overrated’ ‘preferred’ comments….

    On topic: Grosjean surely has a lot of bad luck. I know, you make your own luck, but this is always a shame. Which brings me to totally agreeing that the grid penalty for gearbixes should vanish. Just give a number for the year and deal with it as with engines.

  11. Wow, I didn’t mean to start bickering.

    To be perfectly clear: I don’t think and didn’t mean to imply that Grosjaen is getting preferential treatment within Lotus. For one I don’t think Boullier has enough say over the shareholders to make that fly. Not when the other driver is a proven race winner and past world champion. And secondly the rest of the team don’t seem anywhere near cynical enough to go for that. ‘Course, it is entirely possible I’m wrong on both counts. ;)

    I was only commenting on what the press choose to provide coverage of and how they appear to go about it.

    Also, for the record, I think Grosjaen has been doing a much better job than expected and I never thought he was all that bad to begin with. But he does need to learn how to stay out of trouble, regardless of his position on track.

    Sorta like Kimi is doing week in, week out. I don’t think he’s getting enough recognition for the results he’s dragging out of circumstances and himself (strike through as applicable and yes he has had at least one off-weekend being perhaps a bit charitable). Rightly or wrongly, probably because more is expected of him as a past WC in light of his less experienced team mate’s performances. Which is where I think mitigating circumstances I mentioned before, seem to be swept under the rug a bit. Because if not for the team’s tyre gamble in China, he would have been the only other driver, next to Alonso, to have scored in every single race this year.

    Last time he had to adept to new tyres, everyone was saying it took the Michelin runners, including the very same Alonso, about 8 or 9 races. And I think he has been getting better, so perhaps when Spa comes around he’s all set for his normal fireworks display. Here’s hoping :)

    1. I agree it’s unfair how people have started criticising Lotus about “missed opportunities” recently. I’ve been admiring Raikkonen’s class and ability to race cleanly. In the last two races he’s avoided first-lap collisions by backing out of Maldonado’s squeeze/chop (Valencia) and driving over a kerb (Silverstone). He paid a price by ending up behind slower traffic, but at least he wasn’t caught up in an accident, which is Grosjean’s weakness for the moment.

      They’re a strong combination – they were recently ahead of Ferrari and now they’re beating McLaren. And Kimi appears to be less bothered than most other drivers by a team-mate who can run faster than him, so I’d imagine it doesn’t create tension within the team as it did when Alonso was second best.

      I wonder if they’ve been over-cautious with strategy since the Chinese tyre incident. At Silverstone, as in Barcelona, they finished the race with the fastest car on the track, catching the guy in front with some life left in the tyres. The team describe the car as challenging near the front, and I agree – it’s not an outright winner (yet) – they’d still need a bit of luck, and everything to fall into place on race day.

  12. This is going to appear way down the list because I couldn’t find a reply button, but with regard to @psynrg ‘s comment “You mean the F2007, constructors championship winning car”, that only came from McLaren being excluded from the Constructors’ Championship that year (Spygate).

    1. Sure, this was certainly the case and some would argue this was because they had an insight into what Ferrari may or may not be doing (I personally have no idea in this.)
      But this highlights my point about McLaren with Alonso and Hamilton effectively handing the WDC to Räikkönen by squabbling over it all by themselves. The final standings of RAI 110, HAM 109, ALO 109 kind of speaks for itself.

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