Romain Grosjean was delighted to end his long-running association with Lotus by picking up two points for ninth place in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Grosjean started back in 19th place after being hit with a gearbox penalty on Sunday morning, but managed to fight his way through the order to stand on the brink of the top ten in the closing stages.
With fresher tires, the Frenchman battled past Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat to move up into ninth place, securing two points for Lotus in his final grand prix for the team.
The result also ensured that Grosjean finished the year 11th in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship ahead of his move to Haas F1 Team for 2016.
“It’s been an emotional journey for me and I’m so happy to be able to reward everyone at Enstone with points in my final race for the team,” Grosjean said.
“I had to push all the way and it wasn’t always plain sailing as there was a lot to manage on the car. The calls from the pit wall were great and my pit stops were fantastic.
“I owe a lot to this team and it really feels like a family to me. I hope to be back one day in the future. This has been the best season of my career.”
Teammate Pastor Maldonado’s race ended at the first corner after he was crashed into by Fernando Alonso, leaving him with terminal suspension damage.
“It’s sad to end the race in the first corner because we were looking good for the race,” Maldonado said. “Today we had a good strategy to go with our better race pace, but anyway this is racing and it can happen.
“I didn’t see the contact I just felt it in the back of the car from Fernando. I tried to restart but then I saw the suspension damage. Imagine if that incident had been the other way round, it would’ve been big news then!”