Grosjean pleased to qualify in top three

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Romain Grosjean is pleased to have returned to form during qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix following two difficult races at Spa and Monza.

The Frenchman finished eighth in both the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix despite the circuits working against the strengths of the E21 car. In Singapore though, Lotus appear to have bounced back as Grosjean excelled in qualifying to finish P3 on Saturday, less than two-tenths off pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel.

“If we look at how many laps we did in the whole weekend so far, P3 in the qualy is not too bad,” Grosjean said in the press conference on Saturday.

“We knew we were strong this morning. I think we got a little bit caught by the night coming on and it was a little bit less quick than the fast time we expected in Q1 but nevertheless I think the team did a good decision about the strategy and the cut-off and everything, so then we had two attempts in Q3. It’s good to be at the front in this grand prix.”

Having endured a difficult first year with Lotus in 2012, Grosjean has established himself as a regular point-scorer in 2013, claiming two podiums so far this season and scoring points in all of the last four races. Should he continue this form, it is possible that he could lead the team next season when Kimi Raikkonen departs Enstone for Ferrari.

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

SMP Racing
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SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.