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The Highs And Lows Of Lotus F1's Return To Formula 1

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Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Grosjean clambered out of the cockpit and, with his arms in the air, charged into the sea of black and gold. They had experienced the most challenging, unrewarding 18 months, and their futures were increasingly uncertain.

But for one day only, they were back where they belonged.

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Romain had been the undisputed star of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, qualifying fourth—but starting ninth after a grid penalty—and reeling in Vettel's Ferrari as the race entered its latter stages.

When the sporting gods took a pin to Seb's rear-right tyre, which exploded on the Kemmel Straight on the penultimate lap, Grosjean was elevated to the podium. Both the Frenchman and his colleagues were handed respite from another sticky situation.

Ahead of the Spa-Francorchamps race, >Autosport's Dieter Rencken and Ian Parkes claimed the team were "embroiled in a legal battle" with former reserve driver Charles Pic—disgruntled with a lack of track time in 2014—which left Lotus at risk of their cars being impounded.

In the emotion of Grosjean's third-place finish, Permane lifted the lid on the team's struggles, telling Sky Sports' William Esler how 2015 was the "worst season we have had financially."

He explained the team were forced to use just three gearboxes in 2015—"most teams," he added, use "five or six"—and claimed the new front wing Lotus brought to Belgium was "about the only thing we have done" in terms of in-season development.

As rumours over Renault's potential takeover of the team persisted, Permane—a senior member when Team Enstone won two consecutive drivers' and constructors' titles in 2005 and '06—told the same source: "The team are incredibly excited about it. We would welcome them back with open arms obviously."


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Source : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2579011-the-highs-and-lows-of-lotus-f1s-return-to-formula-1

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