Grosjean “disadvantaged” by lack of upgrades

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Sepang, 2013Romain Grosjean is heading into his second weekend in a row without the benefit of the latest upgrades which Kimi Raikkonen has on his car.

Lotus technical director James Allison said only Kimi Raikkonen had the newest parts for the E21, as was also the case in Melbourne.

Asked about Grosjean’s performance in the opening race Allison said: “He’s not had an easy weekend either here or there because we haven’t got, we haven’t been able to provide, two cars of exactly the same configuration on either occasions.”

“So in Melbourne on Friday he was running a step behind Kimi in terms of his aero package and then he had the upgrade for Saturday morning but Saturday was disturbed by the weather as we all know.

“And here once again we only have one set of kit and we’ve chosen to run that with Kimi and Romain is disadvantaged for that.”

Raikkonen ran a new exhaust and outlet package on his car in practice today. Allison added they preferred to bring updates for both cars simultaneously: “It’s a feature of not having in-season testing that you try to upgrade the cars as fast as you can.”

“Generally speaking that means you’re always going to have one set of kit ahead of the second set and that almost inevitably means that one drivers gets to try it before there is a second one available. We’ll always try to get two sets available, but not always possible.

“So he’s had a difficult set of circumstances and he’s also up against a team mate who’s really firing on all cylinders.”

Allison praised Raikkonen’s “incredibly patient” performance in Australia: “I think he knew he had a good car under him.”

“He knew he didn’t have to scamper up behind the group in front. He looked after the tyres, only going quickly when he needed to. Just a very mature and smooth and fast race.”

Grosjean finished in tenth place, over 80 seconds behind Raikkonen, but Allison has no doubts about his potential:

“Romain showed us over and over last year that he is a driver with a lot of pace,” he said. “It’s the one really valuable community a race driver has and he’s got that.”

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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112 comments on Grosjean “disadvantaged” by lack of upgrades

  1. Driver said on 22nd March 2013, 14:00

    These kind of packages have an effect of 0.1 sec / lap. They do not explain Romain is not doing so well. The car is made to be easy on tyres. Kimi’s smooth driving style supports that. That’s the biggest reason why Kimi is doing so much better than Romain. It is wise to test new parts with Kimi and do other tests with Roimain and proven construction.
    Now when the tyres are in so big role, it really gives an advantage to Kimi over every other driver out there..

  2. Dane (@n0b0dy100) said on 22nd March 2013, 14:10

    I don’t see what some people are complaining about. This is only FP1 and Lotus are logically giving their best driver the new parts first. If Grosjean didn’t have new parts for the race, then that’s a different story.

  3. Sometimes I wonder why Maldonado and Grosjean even get such good sponsors/backing. There are many other drivers who could do better with that money like Bianchi. But that’s life.

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 22nd March 2013, 15:54

      I don’t think one should overrate Bianchi only after one race. Nobody can say for sure whether Bianchi was so good or Max Chilton was that bad. Comparing a rookie to another rookie doesn’t really show the value of a driver.

    • Jono (@me262) said on 23rd March 2013, 3:07

      easy, PSDVA is a Venezuelan oil company so they back a Venezuelan driver. Grosjean is not backed quite in the same way but being French, he’s had Renault throw him a few life lines

  4. Rodney said on 22nd March 2013, 15:32

    its Kimi’s fault, really. I mean, why isn’t he telling the whole world that he got unfairly treated last year? If only he whined and whined about how Romain was getting all the latest update, perhaps more people would know. But Kimi isn’t political, he just gets on with the job and we all know that.

    As for Keith, I love your website, and its my go to site for F1 news. However, I still do think your article was a little misleading this time. Yes I agree, you quoted stuff accordingly and truthfully. BUT, like any news outlet, quotes can always be used to support a certain message or agenda, and can give people the wrong impresson. I’m not saying you are doing that, but a food for thought nonetheless.

    As for all those out there saying this was unfair. I ask you why might that be? Kimi has been well known to give extremely precise feedback on the car, so if I was the team principal I would ask Kimi to test the new parts first. Given he’s more experienced and successful. Allison himself said so last year that Kimi was extremely good at giving feedback on how the car feels and said something along the lines of “9 out of 10 times when we follow the direction Kimi wants, we will improve”. Secondly, if the team could only produce one new part, then you are crazy enough to say you wouldn’t want to use that upgrade for ‘fairness’? Oh well, some people…

    I perhaps feel there is an underlying problem with humanity in general, we are all so distrustful (is there such a word?) and are always quick to point out flaws in people. We believe the world is corrupt, that everyone will do anything to succeed. Is this perhaps a reflection of ourselves? I have been browsing this website for a long time, and in every article the arguments always come down to the same patterns. Wouldn’t it be oh so nice if we could all just view the world as a better place? You know, cheer up people. ;)

  5. Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 22nd March 2013, 16:13

    I see that this article has generated lots of anger from both Kimi fans and his opponents. I don’t see what’s the problem here. If Lotus has resources to produce only one set of upgraded parts, isn’t it natural to give them to Räikkönen, who won the first race and gathered twice as many championship points than Grosjean last season? But then again it’s obviously an advantage for Räikkönen against Grosjean to have better parts and Romain will most likely be even further behind Kimi because of this decision.

  6. kimrogue (@kimrogue) said on 22nd March 2013, 16:54

    Chill out guys! Just a team on limited budget trying to do the best they can to maximize their chances, given the testing rules. Stop fishing for conspiracies where there’s none.

  7. Klaas (@klaas) said on 22nd March 2013, 18:38

    Really guys, if one day Kimi and Romain knocked at your door and asked if one of them can take a ride with your car, whom did you trust your car to?

  8. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 22nd March 2013, 19:28

    I think there are a few things that factor into such a decision from Lotus:

    1. Raikkonen has proven very consistent, and as such will be able to get more reliable and useful data from the upgrades for the Lotus team to look over, and therefore decide how best to continue from there.
    2. Grosjean has shown to be quite accident prone, and so if he did crash, it would mean that all the work and money used to get the part over there would be for nothing. Until he can prove otherwise, I’m sure that he’ll continue to be ‘disadvantaged’.
    3. Money. Lotus don’t have the same amount of finance as the top teams, and so I’m guessing that they are trying to pour their resources into upgrades, and save money by maybe just giving it to one driver. Therefore, they can get the data and make more if it’s successful. If it’s not, then they haven’t wasted money.

    It’s probably a combination of all three, and it makes sense to me. Raikkonen did a great job last year, and showed that even with his team mate being just as fast, or faster at some stages, he is the safer pair of hands, and should get the upgrades first.

  9. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 22nd March 2013, 19:44

    I think this shows so well what Massa (and Webber) have to go through all the time. It doesn’t take much to be clearly slower than your team-mate.

  10. Dion (@infinitygc) said on 22nd March 2013, 21:29

    I love how people say that the points-difference between Grosjean and Raikkonen was so extremely big just because Grosjean was so terrible… It isn’t as if he had to race against a teammate who had 9 years of F1 experience and also won a WDC while he only had half a year of experience and a GP2-title or something like that! Save for the crashes, he actually did pretty well, I’d say! As for the part-distribution, I think they need to stick to Raikkonen, but try and give Grosjean his setup-time, since he showed that he really needs it.

    • Candice said on 23rd March 2013, 1:12

      Romain got all the time needed from fp1 and fp2 in Sepang…

      Yet, he still struggle.

      It showed that he was struggling with the car nature as a whole. A very pointy front end does not suit an agressive driver like him.

  11. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 22nd March 2013, 23:20

    haha what is the big deal? there is enormous time and infrastructure involved in making any single piece of a complete package. a team must allocate resources to achieve the maximum result, and that means the stronger driver gets the new, faster parts. it’s to grosjean’s detriment, but even more to the team’s detriment that the limit of their production is less than 2 cars.

  12. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 23rd March 2013, 5:10

    I just can’t believe that anyone would even entertain the notion that with two drivers, one of whom is Kimi – leave me alone, I know what I’m doing and am already once a World Champ – Raikkonen, if there was only one set of particular upgrade parts they would go to anyone other than Raikkonen. Sheesh.

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