Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says that Romain Grosjean was “begging” for team orders during the closing laps of the Korean Grand Prix.
Grosjean made a mistake exiting the final corner and was passed by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Grosjean’s attempts at re-passing Raikkonen were thwarted by the appearance of the fire truck immediately after he was overtaken by the Finn.
The Frenchman was heard on the radio asking to be allowed through, but Boullier informed his driver that he would have to race Raikkonen if he wanted to gain back the position.
Grosjean eventually finished the race in third place, with Raikkonen in second.
“Romain got frustrated because he did a small mistake after the restart with the safety car and Kimi just passed him,” said Boullier.
“I think he was begging for some team orders to let him past, but he made a mistake and it was normal racing. I think he could have been quicker, but with a bit of pressure he lost concentration so it’s just part of the learning curve.”
“We know he was upset. Romain was clearly pushing on the radio to get some help to get this position back, but we said no team orders and keep racing. We knew he was upset. Yes, he was the quickest [out of the two Lotus drivers], but sometimes it’s not enough to gain position.”
Grosjean was urged to ‘smile’ on the podium by his team and accepted that he simply made an error.
“I made a small mistake, my fault, and Kimi passed me and then there were yellow flags so I couldn’t use DRS,” he said.
“I was quicker today. It is a track where it is almost impossible to overtake. I should have avoided the AstroTurf in Turn 15 and that would be the end of the conversation.”
“It was my mistake, it is not the end of the world.”