Grosjean has faith in Lotus revival after poor start

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Romain Grosjean has once again affirmed his faith in the entire Lotus team despite a disastrous start to the season that has seen the one-time front-runners fail to score any points in the opening two rounds of the 2014 F1 season.

After a series of financial crises last year, the team finally found some stability by securing finance from Pastor Maldonado’s backers, PDVSA, and downsizing the workforce at Enstone by 20%.

However, the E22 car was not ready for the first test in Jerez, and Lotus has been on the back foot ever since. A double retirement in Australia came as little surprise, but Grosjean rallied to finish 11th in Malaysia, and the Frenchman was pleased with this result after such a tough start to the year.

“I won’t say exactly everything I could say inside my helmet sometimes,” Grosjean joked. “I think it was good for all the guys that we could finish the Malaysian Grand Prix. Of course it was not the way you would like to see when you start a Grand Prix but at the moment that’s where we are plus we were not that far from the points.”

Grosjean refused to give any kind of time scale for when the team will be back up in the points and fighting for race wins as per 2013, but he has total faith in the team at Enstone.

“I don’t know, to be honest,” he said when asked how long it would take for the team to bounce back. “I know that we still have in our genes the winning spirit and we can still fight back.

“Of course, when you start the season with everything in the right direction it’s easier to move forward but at the moment we’ve had some issues, we’ve solved most of them, hopefully no more coming, then we can go from there.

“Renault is well aware that the power unit needs to improve a little bit compared to certain other manufacturers, but I think it’s going to be good and we can work on our car.”

Grosjean has finished on the podium in the last two Bahrain Grands Prix, but he will be hard-pressed to emulate this result on Sunday. You can watch the race live on NBCSN from 10:30am ET on Sunday.

Alex Zanardi showing signs of interaction three months after crash

Alex Zanardi recovery
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
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MILAN — Italian racing driver turned Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi has started responding to treatment with signs of interaction, more than three months after he was seriously injured in a handbike crash.

Zanardi has spent most of that time in intensive care after crashing into an oncoming truck during a relay event near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19.

“For several days now. Alex Zanardi has undergone cognitive and motor rehabilitation sessions, with the administration of visual and acoustic stimuli, to which the patient responds with momentary and initial signs of interaction,” the San Raffaele hospital in Milan said in a statement Thursday.

The hospital said that is “significant progress” but added that his condition remains serious, and that it would be “absolutely premature” to make a long-term prognosis.

Zanardi, 53, suffered serious facial and cranial trauma in the crash and was put in a medically induced coma. Doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

He was operated on several times to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face and the Milan hospital added that he recently had undergone another surgery to reconstruct his skull and would have another one in the coming weeks.

Zanardi lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago. He won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.