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Romain Grosjean came close to victory in Sunday’s European Grand Prix, having carried fresher tyres than leader Fernando Alonso when he stopped with alternator failure on Lap 41. The Franco-Swiss was convinced that a career-first Formula 1 win had been possible.
Grosjean had enjoyed a rocket-like start to shoot into third place from fourth on the grid. He lost second when passed by Alonso at the Safety Car restart, but was keeping up with the Spaniard for the lead following Sebastian Vettel’s retirement.
“Basically, the car lost power and switched off,” he explained. “I couldn’t even call my engineer on the radio, as the radio was dead. The race was almost perfect up until that point: we had a good start and a good strategy. I don’t think we were that far from our first win.
“The positives of this weekend are that we battled right at the front and we showed good pace. Sebastian was very strong and I don’t know if we could have caught him. When he had his issue, I was in second place behind Fernando and it was then that I thought we could challenge for the lead because we knew that our tyre degradation was going to be less than his. Unfortunately, fate decided otherwise.”
Lotus team-mate Kimi Räikkönen finished second, confirming his second rostrum result of the season, Lotus’ fourth of the season and the team’s second consecutive podium finish.
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