MONTREal, June 10, 2012 (AFP) - Romain Grosjean admitted finishing second in Sunday's action-packed Canadian Grand Prix had come as a shock as he did not think a podium finish was possible.
The 26-year-old Lotus driver, who qualified seventh for the race, took full advantage of a one-stop race strategy and gained three places during the final laps and eventually wound up just two-and-a-half seconds adrift of race-winner Lewis Hamilton of McLaren.
The Frenchman was stuck in fifth place before drivers in front of him began to lose grip during the final stages of the race.
German Nico Rosberg of Mercedes and Red Bull driver Mark Webber were forced to pit, Grosjean then eased past Fernando Alonso who was also struggling for pace.
Alonso said: "We thought about going for one-stop and decided to see what was going on later on.
"The question was whether to go with the option tyres from the beginning, especially since they had already done two runs in Q2 and Q3.
"But then the car felt pretty good and when we put the prime tyre on, I didn't know what was going on in front of me. I had Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber in front, so I was fighting with them and was pushing quite hard, but I knew that I was trying to go for a one stop and finally when I saw Mark coming in my tyres were still quite fresh.
Grosjean admitted he had not felt a top three finish was possible and paid tribute to his team for building a car that was kind to his tyres.
"I didn't realise I was third and then I saw Fernando (Alonso) was slowing down and I was second. So it was like a crazy end to the race, because I was thinking P4 or P5, but the pace stayed there.
"The team did a fantastic job to give me a car which was good on tyres, we knew with the heat we would be better today and thankfully the sun came and that was fantastic for us."