Mark Webber has admitted Romain Grosjean has lost his 'nutcase' tag after the Frenchman calmed down his driving style in 2013.
Last year Grosjean was involved in a number of first-lap crashes, none more dangerous than the incident he started at the first corner of last year's Belgian Grand Prix. That crash earned Grosjean a one-race ban, but the Lotus driver has been less controversial so far this season.
Asked if Grosjean had been better this year, Webber replied: "Yes, but he had no other choice. This year he is coping with the problems better, but let's face it, after last season, it (improving) wasn't too difficult.
"In Budapest he made a mistake in the situation with Jenson Button, but his overtaking of Felipe Massa was really good."
While speculation had earlier suggested Grosjean's seat was under threat for 2014, instead the focus is now on the fate of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Should the Finn leave, that could leave Grosjean to be the lead driver at Lotus.
Looking ahead to this weekend, Grosjean agreed with Webber saying he had improved this year.
"Well, a different state of mind, I think I've progressed a lot and worked on that and I think the 2013 starts prove that I did my duties," he said on Thursday.
As for the latest rumours around his teammate Raikkonen, the Finn cancelled all media activities on Thursday due to illness, though some are reading more into that decision.
Some believe Kimi was looking to keep out of the media spotlight given his leading role in F1's so-called 'silly season' while Germany's Auto Sport und Motor added a different theory.
"Either I get my money, or I do not drive," said correspondent Michael Schmidt, imagining a theoretical conversation between the 2007 world champion and his Lotus bosses.
Indeed, heading into the summer break it was reported Raikkonen was late being paid, though friend Sebastian Vettel claimed there was no truth to that rumour.
"Kimi is not going to just throw his title chances away (by not driving)," the German said.
Indeed, Lotus boss Eric Boullier is still hopeful of maintaining Raikkonen's services in 2014.
"Kimi wants to stay with us," he told CNN on Thursday.
"It's up to him to choose what he wants to do. We know what he wants. We will do everything that we can to get what he wants.
"We need to make him just happy to stay," added the Frenchman.
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