Lotus scores first points of 2014 with Grosjean in eighth

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After a troublesome start to the 2014 season, Lotus F1 Team has finally found its feet and scored its first points of the year at today’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Romain Grosjean brought his car home in eighth place to score four points, getting both himself and the team on the scoreboard for the first time this year.

The Frenchman started the race in fifth place after a fine display in qualifying yesterday. However, the race pace of the E22 was still giving the team some trouble, and he was unable to hold off Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen after the first round of stops.

However, he still managed to bring the car home in one piece in eighth place ahead of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. The result marked his first top ten finish since last year’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, where he finished second.

It wasn’t all good news for Lotus, though, as Pastor Maldonado’s poor start to the year continued. The Venezuelan driver crashed out during qualifying yesterday, and started the race from last position. However, when trying to pass Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson in the opening few laps, he made a rash move that saw the two make contact.

The stewards did not look kindly on Maldonado’s manoeuvre through turn seven, and handed him a five second stop-go penalty. After the race, they also confirmed that he had been given one penalty point for his FIA superlicense. Maldonado eventually finished in 15th place.

Although the result is still a far cry from the team’s race winning escapades of 2012 and 2013, it is still an important one for the staff at Enstone. Finally, after a winter full of car problems and financial uncertainty, Lotus can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)