Lotus not blaming Grosjean for struggles

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Lotus say Romain Grosjean should not be blamed for the problems he is experiencing with his car at the moment.

While Kimi Raikkonen has scored a win and a second place in the first three races of the season, Grosjean is yet to finish inside the top five.

But Lotus technical director James Allison says: “The truth is that it’s certainly not Romain causing the problem.”

“Romain is fast, smooth and good at looking after tires, however we have not yet managed to give him a consistent car that lets him bring his talent to bear.

“It’s not him; it’s that we haven’t got it quite right for him yet and what seems to be clear from Kimi’s weekends is that the car is a tricky little beast to get just right. We have managed that with Kimi in two of the three races and we need to make sure we’ve giving Romain all the opportunity to shine as well.”

The problem was “very frustrating”, Grosjean admitted. “I would be lying if I said the car is exactly where I want it and we are having quite an adventure to get the setup and feeling from the car how we want it.”

He ended final practice in China with the 18th fastest time but rallied in qualifying to put the car sixth on the grid. After that he slipped back to ninth in the race.

“We struggled all weekend to get the balance right,” said Grosjean. “It felt a lot better in qualifying but in the race I just couldn’t find the performance.”

“I made a good start, climbed a few places and was sitting close behind Kimi for a short while, but then the tires just fell off the cliff and I dropped right back. As the race went on I ended up getting stuck in traffic which obviously didn’t help, but I still have some work to do to try and find more from the car.”

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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