First lap nutcase keeps it clean and stays well out of trouble

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E20 ahead of the accident involving Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C31 and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27. Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Race, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Sunday 14 October 2012.

Romain Grosjean kept out of trouble in Korea

Oct.14 (Reuters) Romain Grosjean stayed out of trouble, scored some points and breathed a sigh of relief after a low-key Korean Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday, after the Lotus driver arrived in South Korea with the eyes of the F1 world on him after Red Bull’s Mark Webber branded him a ‘first-lap nutcase’ for causing a collision that wrecked the race for both of them last weekend in Japan.

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1. Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Race, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Sunday 14 October 2012.Grosjean had apologised and vowed to keep his nose clean in Yeongam and he was as good as his word.

The Lotus driver, who was banned for the Italian Grand Prix last month after a collision that pitched Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso out of the race in Belgium, finished exactly where he started – in seventh place.

Team mate Kimi Raikkonen was fifth.

“I was a bit nervous starting the race today,” said Grosjean. “But we did a lot of work this week trying to understand a few things and it’s certainly helped.

“It wasn’t the easiest start, there was contact behind me at turn three and I took evasive action but after that it was quite straightforward.”

Team principal Eric Boullier was pleased with his driver’s performance, even if Lotus lost ground in the battle for third place overall after introducing a new exhaust system they had hoped would bring big gains.

“It was good to see Romain drive very sensibly despite all the pressure that is on his shoulders,” he said. “I think he is learning from his experience and it will only make him a stronger driver.”

Subbed by AJN.