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Grosjean must cool down - Boullier

ESPN Staff
October 10, 2012 « Ferrari willing to take risks in development race | Honda shows interest in F1 return »
Romain Grosjean is under pressure after causing another first-lap incident in Japan © Sutton Images
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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says Romain Grosjean must stay out of trouble at the start of the remaining races this season, but says the Frenchman's position at the team is not yet under threat.

Grosjean has been involved in eight early-race incidents this year and was banned from the Italian Grand Prix after triggering a multiple-car shunt at Spa-Francorchamps. In Japan last weekend he crashed into Mark Webber at the second corner and was given a stop-go penalty, ruling him out of a decent finish.

Boullier said Lotus was aware of Grosjean's "hot-headed" on-track behaviour when it employed him, but expected him to calm down as the season progressed. Asked if Grosjean's position at the team for 2013, which has not yet been confirmed, is under threat as a result of the accidents, Boullier told the Sun: "No, not yet. But I expect to see an improvement.

"Romain is privileged enough to be driving a car fast enough to qualify at the front of the grid. If you look at his career, he was always a little bit hot - a hot-headed driver. But I thought if he got some confidence, then he would cool down.

"Obviously, Formula One is not as patient as the junior categories and we saw that in Spa where there was a spectacular accident. It is not about fixing things like the car set-up, it is about trying to make the kid confident and self-aware so that he controls his starts."

Grosjean said he misjudged the gap to Webber at Suzuka because he was trying to avoid an accident with Sergio Perez, who he was running wheel-to-wheel with through turn one.

"Since Singapore, I've been trying to be really cautious at the starts and it's been all the more frustrating to be involved in an incident in Japan," he said. "When approaching the first corner, I was watching Sergio [Perez] on my left to make sure there was no contact with him. I didn't expect such a big speed difference between me and Mark [Webber] braking into the corner, we collided and that was it. It was a stupid mistake.

"Mark came to see me after the race and was obviously not happy, but I apologised and we have to move on. I've sat down and looked at things again with the team; for sure it's still an area we need to improve. We're clearly focusing on this area for the next races."

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