Lotus progress down to finance says Grosjean

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Romain Grosjean has full confidence that Lotus can challenge for both championships this season relying they have the financial capability to keep up with their rivals.

Talking to Autosport, Grosjean said “It depends on the money that we have. That is the key in Formula 1.

“We know we have good people, we know they are able to do a race winning car, we know that on development and on factory tools we are there. Then then again everything is a question of what you can put into it.”

Revenue has dictated many moves of late in Formula One, causing HRT to withdraw from the sport at the end of last season, as well as the departure of Timo Glock, Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov in favor of pay drivers. Although Lotus are less dependent on this income, Grosjean spoke of the cycle that ensues once sponsors are found.

“Hopefully we get more sponsors, so more development and then more wins and then more sponsors. It’s a cycle.”

Lotus have made a good start to the season, and are currently in second place in the constructors’ championship with 40 points and one win courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen in Australia. However, with the upgrades in Malaysia failing to notably improve the E21, the team will be keen on finding a way of enhancing their 2013 chances courtesy of some extra income.

Hartley says debut F1 point would be ‘a dream’ from last on grid

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Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.

Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.

Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.

“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.

“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”

The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.

“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.

“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.