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Grosjean to take grid penalty

ESPN Staff
July 13, 2012 « Button eyes problem-free weekend | Lotus to have 'interesting updates' »
Romain Grosjean was impressive in recovering to finish sixth at Silverstone after first lap contact with Paul di Resta © Sutton Images
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Romain Grosjean will have to take a five-place grid penalty at the German Grand Prix as he needs a new gearbox.

When finishing sixth at the British Grand Prix last weekend, Grosjean suffered a problem with his gearbox on the last lap. While it didn't cost him in that race, Lotus technical director James Allison has confirmed that the issue is big enough to require an unscheduled change and as a result Grosjean will lose positions after qualifying.

"It was a gearbox problem and we are very fortunate that Romain didn't have the problem earlier in the race," Allison said. "Unfortunately for Romain it means he'll take a five place grid penalty at Hockenheim, but he certainly showed at Silverstone that dropping down the order won't stop him challenging at the sharp end."

Despite the setback, Allison said he does expect Grosjean to be able to challenge for a place in the top four in qualifying before taking his penalty.

"We're getting there. Silverstone didn't flatter us at all. If you look at our P3 running at Silverstone, I suspect we would have been in contention for the front row, or second row for sure. So in a qualifying session which was mixed up by the rain, I don't think we can draw any strong conclusions. However, we are making progress in qualifying and we'll be in the mix for the first couple of rows in Hockenheim."