Grosjean thought victory was his
13 October 2013 – Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has admitted that he thought Sunday afternoon's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka was going to yield his maiden Formula 1 victory.
Having started from the second row of the grid, Grosjean jumped into the lead on the approach to the first corner to control proceedings ahead of the Red Bull drivers, before conducting a highly competitive opening stint on the Medium compound tyre.
But a switch to the Hard rubber provided more of a challenge, with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber ultimately shining through to take a one-two result for their team.
"I thought today was going to be the day my first victory came," said Grosjean. "We were quick on the Mediums, but unfortunately the car was less good on the Hards."
Grosjean almost fended off Webber in the closing stages of the race, but says third position is a fair representation of his Lotus team's current level of performance.
"It was nice with Mark but I couldn't pull away on the Hards as they began degrading. But we never thought we could beat the Red Bulls. We are where expected to be."
In the sister Lotus, Kimi Räikkönen took the chequered flag in a distant fifth position.