Grosjean “not just playing a supporting role” for Raikkonen

2012 Singapore Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012Romain Grosjean says he won’t merely be driving to help his team mate in the world championship over the remaining races of the season.

Grosjean, who will return to F1 following a one-race ban in Singapore, lies eighth in the drivers’ championship with 76 points. Team mate Kimi Raikkonen is third on 141, 38 behind leader Fernando Alonso.

Grosjean said: “I wouldn?t say that for the rest of the season I?m here just to play a supporting role; if I have the
opportunity to reach the podium, or even a win, then I will take it.

“Of course, I want the team to achieve the best results it can and if you look at the points difference between me and Kimi it would be foolish to think only of my own results. Let?s hope we can have a fantastic end to the season for me, Kimi and the team.”

Grosjean admitted he hasn’t been as comfortable with the E20 in recent races as he was at the start of the season: “I would say that since Hockenheim I haven?t really had the same connection with the car as I had previously.

“At the start of the season I felt very comfortable and by the time we got to Valencia the sensation I had in the car was just amazing. Whether it?s the tyres, the setup or something in my driving style I?m not 100% sure; we need to go through everything and find out.

“The grids are so close this year that any tiny thing can mean the difference between being at the front and sitting in the midfield. I?m determined to find that synergy with the car again in Singapore and carry it through the rest of the season.”

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43 comments on Grosjean “not just playing a supporting role” for Raikkonen

  1. It’s amazing to think that Kimi is really a contender. And considering how crazy this year has been, I think he at least has a decent shot at it.

    • MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 14th September 2012, 17:12

      @mike Yeah I mean he has slipped under the radar. I think it was Keke Rosberg wasn’t it who won the world championship like this, finishing on the podium consistenly but not actually winning. Proves that you have to be consistent more than anything to win a world championship, something Alonso found the hard way in 2010, faltering on the last few races.

      • Keke Rosberg won the Swiss Grand Prix (at Dijon in France), although he still would’ve won the championship had he not won it.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 14th September 2012, 19:19

        I don’t think that Keke Rosberg is the best example in this case, we should not forget that if it wasn’t for Villeneuve & Pironi’s accidents he will never might won that WDC (this doesn’t hide the fact that he deserves 100% his title after all he was the only driver to capitalize on that)

        • xeroxpt (@) said on 14th September 2012, 20:59

          Don’t mention it, but in some ways reliability has played that part, strangely Raikkonen is the most consistent driver, he never was in such position in the past.

          • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 15th September 2012, 13:08

            I don’t know why people forget it, but Kimi was in a near-identical position in 2003. He was just 2 points shy of snatching that title from Schumi, despite having only the one win in Malaysia, which, just like Keke at Dijon, was his first win.

      • @mahavirshah i think it was alonso consistency after silverstone in 2010 that allowed him to fight for a championship that his car had no right to be in. same again this term

        • Matt (@agentmulder) said on 15th September 2012, 0:16

          Sorry, but how the hell does Lotus “not deserve to be in” this championship fight? In 2011 the team had their design implode on them, they where rubbish in the last races, and they had lots of management issues.

          Come this year, they’ve sorted their internal issues, the car is very quick, and save for a few hiccups along the way they’ve been fighting the established sharp end teams the whole way.

        • Matt (@agentmulder) said on 15th September 2012, 0:18

          Oops! Sorry! Thought that last bit said “same with this team” in relation to Lotus. Didn’t realize it was “this term” and in relation to Ferrari! I need to read more carefully >_>

    • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 15th September 2012, 11:42

      He slipped under the radar when he won his world championship… maybe he could do it again…

  2. Grosjean really ought to be helping Raikonnen as much as he can, not pushing for wins that will take points away from him. Massa is hardly going to be doing the same to Alonso.

    • Metallion (@metallion) said on 14th September 2012, 20:04

      Regardless the championship situation, the drivers should always push as much as they can for good results, otherwise they won’t be in a situation to help their team mate if such an opportunity arises. Also, if their team mate happens to have a bad race, they’ll still be in a good position to score many points for their team. I think Grosjean has just the right attitude about it and I say this as a Kimi fan

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 14th September 2012, 21:31

      It’s not Grosjeans call to help or not to, i still think that the Lotus team aren’t really favouring Kimi, they have been a little unimpressed with him, from what i hear from Kimi he seems very passionate, the idea that Finnish people are cold is nothing more than BS, we saw Mika crying and Kimi biting his nails, Finnish are cool but not on that way.

      • Yep we’re humans too ;)

      • @ukfanatic

        i still think that the Lotus team aren’t really favouring Kimi, they have been a little unimpressed with him, from what i hear from Kimi he seems very passionate

        “unimpressed”? Really? I’m not questioning what you’re saying, just trying to verify you were saying what you meant to say :)
        All the press’ hype aside, the guy in the link below is making a good case for the Lotus not exactly having been quite the fastest, or even as fast as we may have been thinking in the races so far: http://intelligentf1.wordpress.com/

        And surely, Lotus realise this too.

        • xeroxpt (@) said on 15th September 2012, 0:07

          @ral When you listen to the team radios and you get emotional words from both sides, you start feeling that there is some tension, emotions in the air, in several statements via Lotus i haven’t heard the same type of adulation i can hear in Saubers Mclaren or Ferraris press statements, he’s temper maybe deceiving, i hear someone that really cares about racing and Lotus guys seem to be hearing someone who keeps bashing them, it’s probably a mix of both, it’s the heat of battle. I could bring some examples but that would take loads of time, check SPA team radios.

          • Nah. I think you’re making too much of a couple of radio messages, which are already filtered by FOM to both not include any swearing and be interesting to TV viewers. And for “interesting”, feel free to read “potentially stirring the pot”. See also: Vettel’s radio messages in Hungary. Or Monza. Or anywhere else this year, really ;)

            I think Lotus know what kind of driver they have in Raikkonen and they’re quite happy with it. In the August edition of Autosport Magazine, they interviewed James Allison and Alan Permane about Kimi and Permane for example was quite happy to take partial blame for the Monaco failure to really get going. He also made a statement regarding the power steering that makes me think the technical people at least are happy with (but had to get used to) the way Kimi works by raising an issue when it needs raising and then letting them get on with their work of fixing it without feeling the need to keep reminding them about it, least of all in public. You can read the interview here, it’s the one at the top: http://kimiraikkonenspace.com/category/magazine/

    • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 14th September 2012, 22:51

      IMHO, RG needs to focus on finishing races before he should think about winning them, maybe getting past Lap 1.
      I know only the LAST one was his fault, but he still has a pretty bad DNF ratio.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th September 2012, 0:25

      @alfie

      Grosjean really ought to be helping Raikonnen as much as he can

      No he shouldn’t. He’s a racing driver and his job is to win races. What happens to Raikkonen isn’t Grosjean’s problem.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 15th September 2012, 13:12

        His job to win races is secondary to helping his team win the title. If Kimi’s too far behind, sure, take the win by all means. But otherwise, Romain should give way if Kimi is behind him.

      • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 15th September 2012, 16:57

        @keithcollantine
        Formula1 driver’s job is to drive in a way that benefits his team the most. Most of the time it means winning the race, but not always. Would you say that Massa failed to do his job in Brazil in 2007? Or Hamilton on the same track in 2008? Of course not.

        Teams are trying to finish as high as they can on both championships. If a driver wants to do whatever he wants at all times, he may build a team of his own.

        Having said that, most of the time it’s in both Kimi’s and Lotus’ best interests that Grosjean finishes as high as he can, taking points away from Kimi’s rivals. If Kimi can’t win a race but Romain can, it’s good for Kimi. But if Räikkönen is behind Grosjean, they should switch places. And if Alonso is winning the race and Grosjean is taking points away from Räikkönen (and there are other drivers between them), Lotus should consider giving Romain an extra pit stop. And according to this interview, I believe Grosjean knows all this and has accepted it.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th September 2012, 18:25

          @hotbottoms

          if Räikkönen is behind Grosjean, they should switch places

          If the team choose to tell their drivers to change their running order that’s one thing. Regrettably, team orders are now legal in F1, so they can do that.

          But that does not mean Grosjean should take it upon himself to dive out of the way any time Raikkonen appears in his mirrors.

          And this is exactly why the team orders ban should never have been lifted. This is supposed to be racing. If Grosjean is quick enough to get himself in front of his world champion team mate, that’s to his credit, and he should not be forced to compromise his own efforts.

          • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 15th September 2012, 18:55

            I think you fail to see that F1 is a team sport.

            Do you really think that Grosjean shouldn’t be “forced to compromise his own efforts” by letting Räikkönen pass in a situation where Grosjean is running first and Räikkönen second? What about if it’s the last race of the season and it’ll decide the championship? From Lotus’ perspective?

            Also, don’t you think that Räikkönen could potentially have a major disadvantage should Lotus act the way you suggest (even though I’m sure they won’t), since other teams aren’t afraid to use team orders? And don’t you think Lotus would compromise their efforts as a team if they lost the championship due to refusing to use team orders?

          • I wonder when Felipe gives way to his team mate, it’s all right, but at every other team teams drivers should race against each others. Maybe Felipes team mate is mentally so weak that he needs that kind of support ?

      • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 15th September 2012, 17:47

        I find it is a difficult call to make. Especially when the Driver’s goals and the Team’s goals come into conflict.

        It seems to me that most teams give both drivers the same chance. As one starts to dominate the other, and the weaker one’s chances get slim, teams and drivers take the logical choice to re-adjust priorities, and go after what they can achieve, rather than waste time, energy and resources on a losing battle.

        I do agree, the goal of the driver is to win races, but F1 is not as simple as that. Like it or not, there are commercial goals, Team Goals, etc.
        Any analyst who forgets that has probably lost the perspective required to continue in F1 analysis.

  3. mark (@markp) said on 14th September 2012, 19:10

    Taking out Alonso and Hamilton at Spa was a great help to Kimi.

  4. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 14th September 2012, 22:31

    All lame jokes about supporting one’s teammate when you’re driving in Singapore for team Enstone aside, I think Geosjean spoiled his opportunity this year.

    He is fast, that’s pretty evident, but it still seems to come at a price. If he can now start to finish races, think before he tries to win it all in one corner and really put it together like he does on his best days, he’ll show everyone outside Bouillier that he really is an asset…

  5. Grosjean is just being selfish. Lotus barely has a sliver of a chance to win a WDC, and Grosjean comes out and says that his primary aim is not to help his teammate, instead, he’ll do whats best for himself and hope that everything else pans out for Kimi and Lotus.

    Button has a similar attitude, and it’s shocking that so many drivers let their ego get in between what is best for the team. Button doesn’t stand a chance for the WDC due to some laughable performances in the earlier part of the season amd Grojean has had 7 DNFs due to his own stupidity, yet they do not support the other driver who has being doing a solid job for their team all year.

    If I were a team principal, I would want to maximise my WDC chances and not have to deal with uncooperative and selfish teammates

    • @todfod says the guy with ‘Nando as his avatar…

      Romain should strive win where Raikkonen has no chance of winning and winning takes points from Fernando and Lewis. Winning with Kimi second is absolutely silly and he nowhere near gets saying to suggest it.

      Hypothetical:

      Nando leading, Kimi second, Romain third. Kimi is struggling on worn tires and 2-3s behind Nando, 8 laps from the end. Romain is on his gearbox. it is smarter for Enstone to allow him to team orders pass Kimi and attack nando to drop nando down to 18pts vs kimi’s 15 rather than 25 v. 18. There are plenty of places where its better for Romain to push. This is an extreme example. But you get the point.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 15th September 2012, 7:33

        Of course Romain should go for the win if he is taking points of others… but he shouldn’t fight his teammate and take points of him. From the article he seems to mention that he will just do the best for himself irrespective of whether it helps the team or not.

        Your little hypothetical situation has a slim chance of occuring, what matters is whether the driver will sacrifice points for his teammate. Which Romain says he will not do.

      • maybe grosjean should crash into alonso instead of challenging for the win, to give kimi 25 points and alonso a dnf ;)

    • theresa said on 26th September 2012, 14:30

      I think it’s been shown consistently over this season that Grosjean has been obeying team orders to let Raikkonen pass every time the two Lotus cars are together. He might not like it, but he’s a champ all the same for letting him pass and ensuring the best result for Lotus and its drivers. Now if only he could complete more races…

  6. Althasil (@althasil) said on 15th September 2012, 0:01

    I haven’t read the article yet, but that’s really the picture you chose Keith? C’mon!

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 15th September 2012, 9:11

    Seems sensible enough to me. I don’t think many drivers are stupid enough to let a WDC slip through their teams mates hands and Grosjean strikes me as being pretty switched on about that sort of thing This is still technically a rookie season for him so he still needs to impress and ensure his position for next year.

  8. I am thinking that Ferrari deliberately slow Massa’s car until the points got wider and when Ferrari can use team order Massa get faster?
    I still wonder who put white dust in Ferrari engine in Monaco 2007..too much mystery in F1.

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