JULY 13, 2012
Lotus upbeat despite Hockenheim grid penalty for Grosjean
The Lotus driver produced one of the best drives of the British GP after his early contact with Paul Di Resta but now must take a five place penalty on the grid at Hockenheim next weekend due to a gearbox issue.
Team technical director James Allison says: "We are very fortunate that Romain didn't have the problem earlier in the race. Unfortunately for Romain it means taking a five place grid penalty in Germany, but he certainly showed at Silverstone that dropping down the order won't stop him challenging at the sharp end."
Lotus ceded a place to Ferrari in the constructors championship battle at Silverstone but overtook McLaren, so stays third in the classification. Allison is optimistic heading for the halfway race of the season.
"The season seems to be getting stronger for us race-by-race," he says. "We should see pretty warm weather conditions in Germany and nothing about that track should do anything other than fill us with confidence. I'm excited too because we've got some interesting new updates for Germany and we're looking forward to see how they work out."
The team has shown consistently strong race pace, with Kimi Raikkonen and Grosjean setting the fastest race laps at Silverstone, but Allison believes progress is being made with qualifying.
"We're getting there," he reckons. "Silverstone didn't flatter us at all. If you look at our P3 (third practice, in the dry) running at Silverstone, I suspect that we would have been in contention for the front row, or the second row for sure. In a qualifying session which was mixed up by rain, I don't think we can draw any conclusions. We are making progress and we will be in the mix for the first couple of rows in Hockenheim.
"With a bit of luck we can start hounding Ferrari for second in the championship... maybe even opening up some clear water between us and McLaren in the process."