Grosjean never expected to charge from 17th to 3rd

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The majority of the headlines may concern the newly-crowned world champion Sebastian Vettel, but Romain Grosjean produced the stand-out drive of the day at the Indian Grand Prix to charge from seventeenth to third thanks to a one-stop strategy.

Pirelli had warned against stopping just once during today’s race, but Lotus ignored this advice and it allowed Grosjean to battle through the field to finish on the podium thanks to the low levels of degradation on the prime tire. However, it came as a total surprise to the young Frenchman.

“No, I wouldn’t have bet a penny on me being on the podium today,” Grosjean explained. “I think the race pace was brilliant and we did a very brave strategy as we did yesterday. I think it was not the time to be safe, and it paid off, we’re back on the podium. It’s quite amazing from where we started and just the race was alright, tried to go through the field. It was tough until the end, I didn’t know when the tires were going to go off but the team did fantastic, very proud to be here.”

Lotus had been running as high as second during the race, but Kimi Raikkonen could not quite pull off the one-stop strategy like Grosjean and the Finn began to drop off the pace towards the end of the race. With a few laps to go, Grosjean looked to pass Raikkonen but he was forced wide, prompting an angry exchange over the radio between Raikkonen and his team before the Frenchman eventually made it past.

“Kimi was in a difficult situation and I went for the outside and he didn’t see that point,” Grosjean said. “I knew I had to be careful to my engine, I knew Massa had much fresher tires behind so I didn’t want to lose too much time. The good point is that I’m here on the podium and we scored good points for the team and we still have a very strong car for the upcoming races.”

Raikkonen pitted on the penultimate lap of the race to salvage seventh place and set the fastest lap of the race. For Grosjean though, this is his third consecutive third place finish, elevating him to seventh in the world championship as Lotus look to catch Mercedes and Ferrari in the battle for second place in the constructors’.

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool