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Grosjean 'getting better and better'

ESPN Staff
September 24, 2013 « Webber derides 'comical' penalty | Warwick defends Singapore penalties »
Romain Grosjean qualified third in Singapore but had to retire from the race © Sutton Images

Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane says Romain Grosjean has "been getting better and better" over the past few races and could lead the team next season.

Grosjean made a slightly conservative start to 2013 after some high-profile mistakes last year, but his season has picked up since a strong third place in Germany. Grosjean looked set to challenge for victory in Hungary before a penalty for going off-track passing Felipe Massa, and delivered another strong performance in Singapore before an air supply issue caused him to retire.

Permane said that Grosjean's performance before his retirement was not a surprise but that it would be an added boost to his confidence to have driven so well during a difficult weekend.

"I think Romain himself has made - I wouldn't call it a breakthrough - but since the Nurburgring, Hungary, he's just been getting better and better and better," Permane said. "When it counted [in Singapore] he had a difficult Friday, he had a few car problems and didn't run a great deal, but he had an excellent Saturday. We knew we had the potential to do well and he delivered, and I think for his head that will be very, very important. He'll know that he can do it."

Asked if Grosjean could become the team leader in 2014 with Kimi Raikkonen heading to Ferrari, Permane felt recent performances had strengthened Grosjean's position.

"I don't see why not, honestly. It obviously depends who we get as his team-mate; if it's a strong character or who it is, but I don't see why not. Now is his chance and he looks to be taking it, which is really good to see."