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Grosjean a changed man - Webber

ESPN Staff
October 16, 2013 « Ferrari 100% focused on 2014 | Raikkonen's motivation still intact since signing Ferrari deal »
Romain Grosjean took Mark Webber out at Suzuka 2012 © Sutton Images

Mark Webber has said Romain Grosjean deserves his place in Formula One just 12 months after he labelled him a "first-lap nutcase".

Grosjean finished third behind Webber and Sebastian Vettel at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix after a race-long battle with the two Red Bulls. At the same race last season he took out Webber on the first lap, leading to questions over his future in Formula One as it came just a few races after a big crash at Spa-Francorchamps. However, Webber says Grosjean is now a changed man.

"I think it's very clear that Romain has a very different mental approach to the job at the moment this year," he said. "He's driven some quite strong races, putting together the whole weekend which is a sign of a driver starting to get a bit more relaxed and confident. A lot less mistakes, not just in races but in practice.

"You know, we're not here to blow smoke up his arse but in the end he's doing a very good job this year and it's a big step for him because last year, in Formula One, also the first year against Fernando [Alonso at Renault] in Formula One wasn't easy for him and to come back... yeah, he's doing a good job.

"It starts and stops with him. Hope he doesn't improve too much more before the end of the year! And we can keep going."