Romain Grosjean said his retirement from the Spanish Grand Prix due to a suspension failure was “just a part of motor racing”.
Grosjean said “there was potential for a strong result today” despite him falling from sixth to ninth at the start.
“The car was feeling pretty good until we had an issue with the rear suspension which meant I had to return to the pits and retire from the race, which is a great shame,” he said.
“It’s always disappointing for everyone when something like this happens but there’s no-one to blame; it’s just a part of motor racing.”
Team principal Eric Boullier said: “We need to investigate what happened to Romain’s car. I feel sorry for him and for the team.”
Grosjean’s retirement ended Lotus’s streak of finishing every race this year with both cars in the points. However Kimi Raikkonen closed to within four points of Sebastian Vettel in the battle for the drivers’ championship.
“I’m delighted for the team to achieve another second place with Kimi today,” Boullier added. “Once again he drove fantastically and we were able to give him a great car with a good strategy.”
“We took points from Sebastian in the drivers’ championship, but we have lost out a bit in the constructors’ championship.”
Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 9th
Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.
Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.
Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.
Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.
Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.
Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.
Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.