Grosjean plays down radio spat with team

3 Comments

Romain Grosjean played down the significance of a series of radio messages between him and Lotus during the Korean Grand Prix which culminated in team principal Eric Boullier getting involved.

Grosjean repeatedly complained to his race engineer Ayao Komatsu that he was being held up by team mate Kimi Raikkonen in the closing stages of the race. Raikkonen took advantage of a mistake by Grosjean to pass him in between the two Safety Car periods.

“I am stuck behind Kimi. I cannot do anything in sector two,” said Grosjean at one point, leading Komatsu to tell Grosjean “If we want to do anything you need to overtake him.” In subsequent messages Grosjean appeared to be urging his team to tell Raikkonen to let him pass.

After several further conversations team principal Eric Boullier came on the radio to tell him to “keep racing like it is”.

Once the chequered flag had fallen another team member told GrosjeanL “We’ll talk about this in the office afterwards but for now big [censored] smile on the podium.”

After the race Grosjean played down the exchange: “Our radio is quite bad, I have to say. I don’t hear most of the conversations.”

“I just made a mistake, Kimi could go for it and the unfortunately there was a yellow flag at turn three so I couldn’t get my place back. I was quicker today but then we have rules not to fight.”

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”