Boullier: Grosjean must learn to control the pressure

Romain Grosjean under pressure

Romain Grosjean pressure mounting

Oct.9 (GMM) Lotus team boss Eric Boullier was vague when asked if Romain Grosjean’s constant first-lap crashes have endangered his career in Formula One, in the wake of another first turn indiscretion that ruined the race for a number of drivers.

Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber come together exiting Turn 1 shortly after the start of the Japanese GP Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday 7 October 2012.“Not for now,” said Boullier, who doubles as the head of the Gravity company that manages the beleaguered Frenchman’s career.

After his Monza race ban, Grosjean was back in trouble at Suzuka when he incurred a furious Mark Webber’s wrath for yet another first-corner crash.

“Maybe we need two separate starts – one for him, one for us,” the Australian, having earlier slammed Grosjean as a ” the first lap nutcase”, told the BBC.

Pundits up and down the paddock have called on the FIA to get race bans at the ready once again for Grosjean, who was close to tears when he spoke to reporters in Japan.

The French-language RMC wondered if Grosjean’s entire career could be in peril. But for now, Boullier is defending his driver.

“Even Schumacher had a lot of crashes at the start of his career,” he said. “But everyone in the team is frustrated, me included.”

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E20 is launched over the top of Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012, at the start of the race. Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday 2 September 2012.The RMC Sport report said that Grosjean should be able to hang on to his seat for 2013, given that Lotus’ most important sponsor, Total, also staunchly backs the 2011 GP2 champion.

The report also said that Lotus’ contract ‘option’ to retain Grosjean in 2013 expires the day after Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix.

“Before Japan, there was no doubt that this clause would be effected,” the report read.

Now, the priority is simply to get Grosjean back on track.

“You can change anything you want in the environment around him, but in the end it is he who must learn to control the pressure,” said Boullier.

And that pressure has ramped up to fever-pitch, with mere days before Grosjean must make yet another race-start.

“He has a lot of talent and could achieve great things,” French former F1 driver Olivier Panis said. “But it’s not going to pay off in the long term if he keeps behaving like that.”

British Sky television commentator Martin Brundle added: “His judgement is clearly wrong in close combat and I don’t know what he can do about it.

“You can’t consciously start making decisions [at the start of a race]. And then when you start getting tense about that, it’s all the more likely to happen.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • hillside

    Grosjean is low on iq…

  • Evel

    The smiling fool needs to quit his part time banking job and focus on the racing.

  • fsdsdgsdg

    Webber STF up and Lauda burn in flamesyou MTF hypocrit! Romain did nothing wrong on this one, for one these ugly big frontwings also caused alonso’s DNF (which was his fault also). Webber slowed down and pulled too much to the right (maybe to help Vettel run away?!). Also after Monza race ban he was the one to say to Romain it was a harsh decision and made a joke about sneakers and running afterwards. But at the Singapore start Webber and Rosberg (barbie) went straight to romain to push him in a mistake, 2 big fat losers and under achievers. Romain is faster than both of them in quali, he has the right to be on this grid (certainly if Maldonado and Hamilton are allowed). Rewatch the Singapore start folks and look at Webber, that is a rookie start!!! Romain is an easy scapegoat, that’s all he must stop appoligizing for things he didn’t do on purpose. The Spa incident was his fault but would have been less severe if hamilton went of the throttle when he was in the Ferrari’s back, which he did’nt do!!!! (same as Solberg in WRC France this weekend, nobody’s whining about him, and he almost killed a few people including his codriver)
    Yeah and Brundle, what did he achieve besides winning Le Mans once, Romain did win it in GT class with a Ford GT too and he was GP2 champ by a big margin. In Japan it was Webber’s fault and Alonso was also to blame on his crash (i’m Ferrari supporter for 27 years!, at the time of the incident I get up in my couch and yelled “Alonso you doosh what are you doing, throwing your championship away”). Also these ugly frontwings are way too ugly and too large (and without them both incidents wouldn’t have happened). Remember Hamilton riding on the backwheel of Alonso’s car in Bahrain in his rookie years, nobody gave him a ban, even not in 2011 where was even a worse torpedo than Pastor. Schumi torpedo’s 3 times someone in the ass, no ban’s here. I’m a Schumi fan, don’t get me wrong, but FIA decisions are too irregular. (Alonso showed on sunday why he shouldn’t be compared to shumi, vettel on the other hand will beat all the records 100% certain I hope to see him at Ferrari verry soon!)

  • John

    I’d have to defend Grosjean and say this was more of a racing incident. Webber slowed down, as is his right to, and Grosjean didn’t have a chance to slow himself.

    Worse was Alonso deliberately pushing Kimi off the track! Once again Alonso doesn’t have a problem pushing others off, but doesn’t seem to like it when similar is done to him!

  • fsdsdgsdg

    John, completely agree as a Ferrari fan. They should put Kimi and Vettel in their cars, Alonso missed his chance in 2010, Kimi took his chance in 2007. Monty should never have ousted him.
    And to Red Bull, you should put Romain in Webber’s car so Vettel would have some competition in quali. Webber can’t even be vice champ in the best (most of the time illegal) car of the grid. Vettel’s titles are not due to this but to his determination and skill. Alonso and Schumi have had illegal cars too in the past, so it’s apples and apples to compare. Alonso is scared of having Kimi or Seb next to him in the same car and that as a Tifosi makes me furious. Schumi in the Red Bull would eat anybody raw on this grid besides Seb. Shame he leaves us!

  • John

    Alonso is an above average driver, but he’s also a bit dirty too. He only won championships because Ferrari one year had terrible tyres and the next started with an unreliable engine. Otherwise Schmuacher would have another two titles, both with Ferrari.

    Certainly Alonso doesn’t want another competitive driver in the same team. He demands No.1 status. Look at how much better Massa did when he wasn’t subject to team orders! What’s tragic is how much pressure is put on Massa to perform even though he’s not given the same oportunities as Alonso.

    Having been sitting in the rain at Monza in a Ferrari T-Shirt I said to my friends after having watched Vettel win his first race they should snap him up rather than Alonso. He many not be quite ready, but then they’ll have one of the best drivers there is for many years. One of my friends disagreed stating that Alonso would be better for Ferrari. Who was right?

  • fsdsdgsdg

    John, you describe the same feeling I had at Spa, when Vettel did a majestic drive trough the field. And my friends don’t seem to agree with me neither :D! They think Alonso is better than Shumi, I calle them morons every time :p. I hope we will be right, as I guess Seb will be with the Scuderia in 2014 when Kimi goes to Red Bull .

  • Disgusted with 2012

    If you look at the replays closely, you see three things. 1.) Grosjean is accelerating past Perez to his right, and is understeering severely. This means he was accelerating too early in the corner, which would have made him run very wide had Weber and Perez not been where they were. 2.) Weber was accelerating at the same pace as the cars in front of him, and away from Perez, so he was not balking or slowing in the corner at all, he was accelerating out of it. 3.) What turned Weber sideways was Grosjean sliding, with steering turned hard right, into Webers right rear wheel. Bottom line, this was Grosjean’ fault again, and cause for a 10s stop and go. The problem is, as he crashes his way through the pack, he’s making a mess of points standings for those he runs into stupidly. Seems maybe he should be started from pit lane until it can be determined he is not mentally defective in some way.