Lotus says it's up to Grosjean to change

Autosport

Lotus boss Eric Boullier says Romain Grosjean needs to shoulder the responsibility for getting himself out of his first-lap problems.

Grosjean was accused by rival Mark Webber of being a 'first-lap nutcase' after the pair collided at the second turn in Japan.

The latest incident was Grosjean's eighth early race crash of the season, and comes shortly after he was banned for the Italian Grand Prix for his part in causing a first corner pile-up in Belgium.

Amid calls for Lotus to take action against Grosjean to get him under control, Boullier has insisted that he can only do so much - and it is up to the Frenchman to deal with the situation himself.

"I have spoken a lot with him," Boullier told AUTOSPORT. "We changed the routine, we tried to make it not more comfortable because I needed a tougher environment for him, and I needed to push him, but he is the only one who can fix this. Nobody else.

"He needs to find for himself what he needs to get, to be good, and relaxed, and on the right focus. He has to find the balance. He can do that, not anybody else."

Boullier is convinced that Grosjean has the talent to become a success in F1, but admits there are aspects of his driving that need to be addressed.

"I think Romain has the privilege to be talented, and he has a car fast enough to qualify at the front of his grid.

"If you look at his career he was a bit of a hot-headed driver until he got some confidence, but F1 is not as patient as a junior category.

"As we saw in Spa it was a spectacular accident and it could have been dramatic - and you cannot accept this.

"Here in Japan, it is not about fixing the car set-up. It is about trying to make the kid self confident enough to cool down and control the race start, and this is what we are trying to do since the beginning of the year.

"We have accelerated that programme since Spa, and timing-wise it is unfortunate that an incident happened again."

Boullier also suspects Grosjean's rivals are trying to take advantage of the situation the Frenchman has found himself in.

"If you look at the start [in Japan] he doesn't change [his line], and it is something we decided that if you start on the right side on the track you stay there," he explained.

"In Singapore he experienced quite a hot start, not from him, but other drivers because they knew he was under pressure, so expected him to back off.

"So here I said, 'don't do the same, just keep your line and don't go to try and contact or get too close'. And that is what he did.

"He saw Perez next to him and he tried to keep far from him, but maybe misjudged a little bit with Webber because there was a difference of speed, as both were faster than Webber."

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