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.