• Korean Grand Prix

Grosjean notes importance of clean start

ESPN Staff
October 14, 2012 « Hulkenberg pleased with 'mega result' | 'We just don't have the speed' - Raikkonen »
Romain Grosjean steered clear of the third corner incidents in Korea © Sutton Images

Romain Grosjean admitted it had been "an important day" for him after finishing seventh in the Korean Grand Prix.

Grosjean has come in for much criticism for his driving at the start of races having had numerous incidents this season, the most recent being when he ran in to Mark Webber in Japan last weekend. He admitted that he had been under a lot of pressure ahead of the start in Korea and after a difficult morning was focusing on having a clean first lap.

"It was an important day for me," Grosjean told Sky. "Important to have no trouble at the start, there is four more races to do the same. A lot of work this week trying to understand everything in order to capitalise on what we can, so in qualifying we knew would be fine, the race was fine, but then it was only 1m30s of the race that I needed to really work on. Today we were safe there, not taking any risks and then we did the best we could in the race.

"It wasn't maybe the easiest morning of my life, a lot of pressure here, but then it was just trying to stay out of trouble with everybody and then on the grid trying to relax, do all the procedures as good as I can and then see if I could avoid everything to get where we wanted to go in the first lap."

In the race Grosjean finished behind Nico Hulkenberg after a race-long battle, but he felt the Force India had been the stronger car.

"Pretty much all afternoon I couldn't really find the way to overtake him but this is how it is. I think at the end they were quicker than we were."

Team principal Eric Boullier admitted that he too was relieved with Grosjean's performance and praised him for his performance in the face of such scrutiny.

"Obviously I'm very relieved because there was a lot of pressure on Romain's shoulders. I have to say he handled it very nicely and he did exactly what we were expecting him to do. When at this level of racing you have so much pressure it's good to see that he can react properly and it's actually reassuring about his capacity of being here and delivering. I think everyone congratulated him like he won the race because it was a huge, huge, huge responsibility and he did well."