Saturday, March 16, 2013

Engine Blood Team Profile: Lotus-Renault

ESTABLISHED: Can't be bothered going into Lotus' former life as a constructor, but the "Enstone Team" who now use the name formed in 1981 as Toleman, before becoming Benetton and Renault.

HISTORY: This team has, at various times, employed a plethora of notable drivers: Schumacher, Senna, Alonso, Raikkonen...  Er, Brundle...  There's been a lot of them anyway.  Kudos to the team for rolling with the punches and sufferring identity crisis after identity crisis, whilst racking up wins a-plenty and the odd title triumph.  They now look to be heading into another fruitful period.

8. Romain GROSJEAN (FRA)

A former world champion with Ferrari, Raikkonen is almost respected more for his refusal to conform to the niceties of life as an F1 driver, particularly when it comes to not swearing on live television.  So disengaged was he at one point that he drifted off to rallying for a couple of years, but has meandered his way back to entertain us once again.

We don't really understand why Grosjean has a job at this stage, but then we didn't at this time last year either, when he'd been out of the sport for a bit after a pretty disappointing run with the Enstone Team when they were...  Um... Renault, possibly?  Was very fast at the start of last season, but caused more first lap pile-ups in a season than anyone ever.  With Kovalainen, Glock and Kobayashi on th sidelines, he'd better shape up quick this time.

2012 PERFORMANCE: 4th place, 303 points.

Kimi RAIKKONEN (FIN) 3rd, 207 points. Best finish: 1st, Abu Dhabi
Romain GROSJEAN (FRA): 8th, 96 points. Best finish: 2nd, Canada
Jerome D'AMBROSIO (BEL): 24th, 0 points.  Best finish: 13th, Italy

A fantastic season for the black and gold squad, with Raikkonen's win the obvious standout.  Ha ha!  Did you hear him talking to his mechanics?  Funny stuff!  For about two seconds.  Seriously though, Kimi was showing some racing rust early in the season, with his inability to take his chance against a stricken Vettel most probably costing him another victory.

Grosjean was robbed of a probable win in Europe by a mechanical failure, but his season went from bad to worse as he started running into everything in sight, culminating with nearly taking Alonso's head off at Spa and getting a one race ban, something not even Hamilton's managed.  Enter the luckless D'Ambrosio, whose chance to shine was scuppered by a KERS failure.

2013 PROSPECTS: Grosjean "disappears" after a collision with Sutil; Raikkonen gets a lap-dance during a pitstop at Abu Dhabi, upsetting Bernie's Arab partners.

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