Date: 24th April 2013 at 2:51pm
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Romain Grosjean stood on the podium for the first time this season to cap off an excellent weekend for the Lotus team.

After a tenth place finish in Australia, a sixth place in Malaysia and a ninth place in China, Grosjean started the 2013 season off consistently, but without stealing many headlines.

Considering his 2012 season, there are clearly benefits to that, as it means he’s avoiding regular first lap incidents, but does mean that he was failing to match the pace of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

In free practice on both Friday and Saturday it would seem that once again Grosjean would be trailing in the shadows of his team-mate beaten in every session before missing out on getting through to the final round of qualifying in 11th place.

?It?s obviously disappointing to miss out on Q3 but it?s just one of those things. There weren?t any issues with the car, we just tried to be a little too brave by doing just one run and unfortunately it didn?t pay off. On the positive side, we?ve found a lot of performance this weekend compared to the first three races and our pace on the prime tyres in Q1 looked very strong. We qualified in similar positions last year and came away with a double podium, so it?s still all to play for.? Grosjean told formula1.com after qualifying.

Meanwhile his team-mate had got through to the final stage of qualifying and would start ninth, not a big difference on the grid, but advantage Kimi.

That small gap would continue throughout the race, but while Grosjean once again was forced to play second fiddle to his team-mate at least he ended the day on the podium. His third podium finish of his career.

Now that has to be seen as a successful weekend, even if you’re beaten by your team-mate? Especially as it could prove that things are coming together and showing the potential for even stronger race weekends, especially as he had to win key battles against the likes of Mark Webber and Paul Di Resta.

?It?s great to be back on the podium and it?s a fantastic result for the team. It hasn?t been an easy start to the season for me, but we made good progress through the weekend and are now back to where we should be. I felt much more comfortable in the car and the result today is a deserved reward for everyone after all our hard work. It was a really enjoyable race with a lot of overtaking and a couple of tense moments along the way, so to come from P11 through to the podium is really satisfying. We?ve had consistency already, finishing every race in the points, but now it?s the big results we?re chasing and this is a very good start to that challenge.?