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2012-10-12 08:36

FIRST LAP NUTCASE TO BEHAVE?: Romain Grosjean promises to be on his best behaviour in Korea and hopefully we won't see a repeat of his first lap antics, such as crashing into Mark Webber (above).

Alan Baldwin

YEONGAM, South Korea - Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has apologised to Mark Webber for a collision that wrecked the Red Bull driver's r2012 ace in Japan and vowed to do everything possible to stay out of trouble in future.

Webber had started on the front row and angrily confronted Grosjean, whom he dubbed "a first-lap nutcase", in the Suzuka paddock after fighting back from last to ninth in the race.

Grosjean assured Webber, sitting just in front of him in a news conference ahead of the 2012 Korean GP, that he completely understood his Formula 1 rival's frustration and anger.


Grosjean said: "I'm clearly conscious of the risk at the start, I'm working on changing quite a lot of things but work doesn't come from one day to the other one. There is a process going on,.

"I said I was very sorry. I'm not stupid and I'm conscious of the risk. And I hope that by now it will be different and I will not make the mistake of focusing on the wrong targets."

Grosjean, who drove into Webber while focusing more on Sauber's Sergio Perez, has finished on the podium three times so far in 2012 but has also been involved in a spate of first-lap incidents. A rash start at the 2012 Belgian GP in September dumped Ferrari's championship leader Fernando Alonso out of the race, with the airborne Lotus flying over Alonso's car and narrowly missing his head.

Grosjean, in his first full season in the sport, was banned for the Italian GP to try to drive home the safety message.


Grosjean said avoiding any contact on the first lap was his clear objective and added that his own team was not happy with what he saw as a cycle of things going bad. "In the team we spoke quite a lot; they are not happy, I am not happy the way we have been going through the first laps.

"There are 550 people working at Enstone (the team factory in England) to give us the best car and if you ruin everything in the first 100 metres it's not good. I'm conscious of all of that and will try to take as many precautions as possible to go through the first lap - and then normally in the race we are OK."

Webber said he accepted the apology.

Stay with Wheels24 for the Korean Grand Prix.


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