• United States Grand Prix - Qualifying

Grosjean philosophical over penalty

ESPN Staff
November 17, 2012 « 'Better than expected' qualifying for Raikkonen | Schumacher exceeds Mercedes' expectations »
Romain Grosjean was 0.9s off pole in qualifying and quicker than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen © Sutton Images

Romain Grosjean is pleased with his United States Grand Prix weekend so far despite a gearbox penalty dropping him five places on the grid.

An issue with the gearbox forced Grosjean to stop early in FP3 and Lotus was forced to change the box in his car, resulting in a five place grid penalty. In qualifying itself, Grosjean did an impressive job to set the fourth fastest time, meaning he starts ninth on the grid, and he said he was pleased with how the car feels going in to the race.

"I will start P9, but this is racing," Grosjean said. "The guys did an awesome job to change the gearbox between FP3 and Qualifying - which was a really tight turnaround - but we're still in the top ten even with the penalty so that's a good result. Apart from the gearbox problem, it's all gone very well today. We've understood a difficult and evolving circuit and found a good set-up. I'm happy to be where I am and at least I will be on the good side of the track for the start tomorrow."

Grosjean also feels he will have strong race pace but may only be able to make up positions if other drivers make mistakes.

"Yesterday race pace was very, very good, so hopefully tomorrow will be the case again. [Overtaking] is very difficult, very, very difficult but the track is very slippery so we may see some cars spinning around and then it's an easy place.

"I think we will see a lot [of track evolution] during the race, it's a bit strange the way it goes. Every time we start the session it's very bad and then the more we go the more the grip comes back but even if it comes back to the level we know now then the level is very low."