July 13th, 2012 (F1plus / Aaron Rook).- Romain Grosjean will have to endure a five place grid penalty for the German Grand Prix after a gearbox problem was discovered during last weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Grosjean who is used to bad luck this season, stormed to a sixth place finish after suffering a gearbox issue on the last lap. The issue however turned out to be more severe than first expected as the stricken gearbox will need replacing before Hockenheim.
The Frenchman was lucky to have the issue so late in the race according to Lotus technical director James Allison: "we are very fortunate that Romain didn't have the problem earlier in the race."
Lotus have shown signs of being strong contenders for race wins. Their blistering pace on a Sunday is usually hampered by poor qualifying performances and this five place penalty will be a massive blow, going into a race where Romain believed victory was possible, "if we can manage a good qualifying, in the two front rows - then I'm sure we can get the win."
Lotus have yet to achieve a victory so far this season but their drivers lay 5th and 7th in the drivers standings, with both achieving highs of 2nd. So the pace is there but reliability for Grosjean has been lackluster and has cost him valuable points and possible victories. Allison believes however that a maiden win is not too far away: "he showed at silverstone that dropping down the order won't stop him challenging at the sharp end."