/ Motorsport

Romain Grosjean set for Singapore F1 return after serving one-race ban

Updated: Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012 12:07

Grosjean got to see the F1 experience from a different perspective at Monza
Grosjean got to see the F1 experience from a different perspective at Monza

Romain Grosjean believes sitting on the sidelines in Monza has proved to be the ideal preparation for his return in Singapore this weekend.

After sparking a four-car pile-up at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix earlier this month, the stewards made an example of Grosjean.

The Frenchman was handed a one-race ban, becoming the first driver in 18 years to be given such a severe punishment.

As part of the learning curve, Lotus team principal Eric Boullier made sure Grosjean did not stand idly by, forcing him to watch the Italian Grand Prix from the garage and pitwall with Jerome D'Ambrosio in the cockpit of his car.

"For me, the main thing about Monza was being in the garage and feeling the support I had from the team," said Grosjean.

"It was really nice, and that's something a driver needs. We're a family here and it meant a lot to me. "Apart from that, being on the pit wall with the engineers and looking at the data is always useful."

He continued: "You get another perspective on how the cars are performing, where the differences are, what can be improved and so on.

"I can still learn a lot from Kimi (Raikkonen) too. He has a huge amount of experience.

"As a team-mate he is both challenging and fantastic; challenging because he is so quick and has abilities I have yet to develop.

"But fantastic because he is also a great example to follow in the way he can switch his mind set so quickly during a race weekend to be entirely focused on the job.

"Apart from actually being in the car, I think the weekend in Monza was the best preparation I could have for Singapore."

In his first weekend outing for Lotus as reserve, D'Ambrosio finished 13th after qualifying 15th, arguably a disappointment for Boullier given the potential of the car.

To the contrary, however, as he said: "Jerome lost KERS at the start of the race and around Monza that is a big, big loss. In lap time it is nearly a second.

"If you look at the pace he had on the option (tyre) in the second part of the race he was matching the pace of the car in front.

"He did a very nice job. I was very satisfied. Being fair, he did an impressive job because he didn't make any mistake, building up his speed through the weekend."

D'Ambrosio's appearance, however, is likely to be a one off this year, with next to no chance of even an outing in Friday practice.

"I don't think it's under consideration," added Boullier with regard to the prospect of seeing D'Ambrosio again this season.

"If we can afford to do it, we will do it, but with the championship being so close we want to fight and use any resources or means we can to give us all the chances to do well."

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