Romain Grosjean is delighted to have finished third in today’s Japanese Grand Prix despite leading the majority of the race at Suzuka and only losing out to the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber after his final pit stop.
The Lotus driver appeared to be on the cusp of becoming the first French driver to win a grand prix since Olivier Panis’ victory at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. However, by going longer on his second stint, Vettel was able to use his fresher tires to catch Grosjean with twelve laps to go. Three-stopping Mark Webber was also able to find a way past late on, but Grosjean is pleased to have finished on the podium.
“Today was just a very, very good race,” Grosjean said. “What a start! It was superb to go past both the Red Bulls like that and it’ll be one of my best memories of the year.”
Grosjean made a fantastic getaway off the line, jumping up from fourth to first as he passed Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to seize the lead of the race. He is proud that he was the only driver to come close to the Red Bull duo in Japan, with fourth-placed Fernando Alonso finished over thirty seconds behind the Lotus.
“The car was fantastic on the first set of tyres and we managed to pull away, but then the Red Bulls were able to reel us in later on. Ultimately, we were the only car to almost catch the ‘bull’. It’s been a great home race for my engineer; it’s always good to come to Japan and it’s really good to be back on the podium again.”