Gamble fails to pay off for Grosjean in qualifying

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Romain Grosjean has said that his early elimination during qualifying for the Indian Grand Prix was nothing more than a gamble that went wrong, with the result bringing to an end a string of excellent performances by the Frenchman.

Lotus opted to send Grosjean out on the medium compound in Q1 in order to try and save a set of option tires for the final session on Saturday. However, this move backfired spectacularly as he dropped from fifth to seventeenth and was eliminated alongside Pastor Maldonado, both Caterhams and both Marussias.

“We took a gamble once again to try just one run on the prime tires in Q1, and although it’s been a successful tactic for us recently it didn’t pay off this time,” Grosjean explained after qualifying. “The times were much tighter than expected and ultimately we made a miscalculation with the cut-off time.”

Like many, Grosjean’s hopes in the race hinge on his strategy, but the Frenchman conceded that from seventeenth on the grid it will take a titanic effort to come away from India with a sizeable haul of points.

“We’ll have to pull off something quite special with the strategy to take anything from there, but of course we’ll analyze the options overnight to see what’s possible,” he explained. “For sure, we won’t be leading after the first corner this time, but we’ll do our best.”

This is the second time in 2013 that Grosjean has failed to make it through to Q2, also missing out thanks to changeable conditions during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix back in June.

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.