Under-fire Lotus driver Romain Grosjean says he knows he must improve his start-line record but added that the work won’t be completed overnight.
Thu 11.10.12, 4:04PM
Grosjean was banned for a race after triggering a multi-car pile-up at the Belgian Grand Prix and was in the wars again at Suzuka where he collided with Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber at the start.
The French driver received a stop-go penalty for the offence and after the race was visited by a furious Webber, who had earlier branded the Lotus man a “first-lap nutcase”.
And ahead of this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix, Grosjean admitted he had apologised to Webber and that he is working through a process of trying to change his starting style.
“Mark came to see me and I completely understand that he was unhappy,” he said in Thursday’s official FIA press conference at the Korea International Circuit. “The only thing I could say was to apologise and that’s what I did. I’m clearly conscious of the risk at the start.
“I’m working on changing on quite a lot of things but (that) work doesn’t (happen) from one day to the other one,” he added. “There is a process going on. I said I was very sorry. I’m not stupid and I’m conscious of the risk. And hopefully by now it will be a different and I will not make the mistake of focusing on the wrong targets.
Asked what he would be doing in future to prevent a recurrence of the starts that have marred this season, Grosjean smiled and said “not having any contact on the first lap”.
“It’s a cycle as well,” he admitted. “Things have been going bad, and the more it goes bad… I’m conscious of the risk at the start. The Spa accident was quite impressive and I was the first one to be happy that Fernando had nothing [injured]. I paid the price as well for my mistake.
“In the team we spoke quite a lot; they are not happy, I am not happy the way we have been going through the first laps,” he concluded. “There are 550 people working at Enstone to give us the best car and if you ruin everything in the first 100m it’s not good. I’m conscious of all of that and will try to take as many precautions as possible to go through the first lap – and then normally in the race we are OK.”