Grosjean pleased to have confirmation for 2014

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Romain Grosjean is pleased to have finally be confirmed as a Lotus driver for 2014, despite a scintillating run of form in the second half of 2013 meaning that it was never really in doubt.

The Frenchman joined Lotus in 2012 after a disappointing half-season with Renault back in 2009. However, his return to the sport threw up a mixed bag of results, as some outstanding performances were juxtaposed by silly mistakes and crashes, the worst of which resulted in a one race ban. In the second half of 2013 though, Grosjean has appeared to be a changed man. In the final six rounds of the season, he finished on the podium four times, picked up one fourth place finish and retired from the final round in Brazil.

“I am very happy to have official confirmation that I will be continuing to drive for Lotus F1 Team next season,” Grosjean explained. “This past year has been tremendously satisfying for me. We have worked well together, and I know everyone at Enstone is motivated to continue the fight for every last point available.

“I am very excited about next year’s car and I cannot wait to get out on track for pre-season testing before heading to Australia for the first race of the season.”

Grosjean will be joined at Lotus by Pastor Maldonado in 2013, who was confirmed by the team as Kimi Raikkonen’s replacement today.

With two former GP2 champions on its books, the team will be hoping to hassle the front-running throughout 2014. For Grosjean, his third full season will give him a chance to lead a team for the first time in his F1 career, having only previously worked alongside Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

Reviewing Danica Patrick’s highs and lows at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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So much of Danica Patrick’s fame can be traced to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s where she became a household name 13 years ago when she became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 and emerged as a transcendent athlete.

It’s where everything started. This Sunday, it’s where everything will end, too.

In her last warmup before starting the final race of her career, Patrick had a bumpy final practice Friday on Carb Day. She was eighth fastest, but her Dallara-Chevrolet was in the garage most of the session because of an electrical problem in the engine. After returning during the final 10 minutes of the session, Patrick’s No. 13 seemed to be OK.

“At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done,” she said. “I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on. Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I’m feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday.”
Though she has had her share of success – along with a fourth in her debut, there was a third in 2009 and six top 10s in seven starts — Patrick has learned well how to handle frustration at the 2.5-mile track, too.

Fuel mileage might have kept her from winning her debut, a pit collision ruined 2008, and an unstable setup made 2010 a wild ride.

For a review of her up-and-down history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and her legacy in racing, watch the video essay above that ran during Friday’s NASCAR America Motorsports Special on NBCSN.