November 1st, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Romain Grosjean's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend got off to the perfect start as he set the fastest lap time in the first practice session. His second session was, unfortunately, cut short by a combination of brake issues and a vibration late in the 90-minute session.
During Free Practice 2, Grosjean failed to slow sufficiently for turn 11, ran wide over the run-off area and coasted back to the pits. It turned out that his problem was a broken brake disc, which had failed as he tried to slow for the turn 11-12-13 complex of corners. Although he managed to return to the pits and Lotus were able to change the broken brake disc in time, his session was further cut short by a vibration on the car.
Grosjean has finished third at the last three races and is arguably due a race victory given his recent form. He is in a promising position for Sunday, as the race could be decided by tyre strategy. The soft tyre is not lasting very long this weekend, though it is not quite as fragile as it was in India, and that presents an opportunity to Lotus as one of the teams best able to manage tyres this season. If they can make a one-stop strategy work on Sunday, Grosjean could have a real chance of winning the race even if the Red Bulls are faster on the track.
Grosjean described his Friday in Abu Dhabi:
“It’s been a pretty good day even if we missed time in the later session whilst the brakes were worked on. We also had a little vibration that needed looking at, but it wasn’t the end of the world. The car feels pretty good as we saw with the fastest time in the first session, so I’m sure we’ll get on top of everything we need to for tomorrow.”