Romain Grosjean: Formula 1's Six Million Dollar Man

Romain Grosjean: Formula 1's Six Million Dollar Man

Romain Grosjean has the potential and the machinery to be one of the breakout stars of 2012. Edd Straw talks to him about his rehabilitation, Raikkonen and returning to Formula 1

Romain Grosjean may prove to be that rarest of things in Formula 1: a driver who fails in his first, fleeting appearance in the sport, but then returns to establish himself as a serious contender at the top level. He has yet to fulfill the second part of that equation but, make no mistake, the 25-year-old Franco-Swiss has the means, the motive and the opportunity to become a very successful grand prix driver. He certainly deserves his chance at Lotus having come, as he puts it "the long way round" back into F1.

During his seven outings for Renault in 2009, Grosjean's pace was far better than many give him credit for when you consider that he couldn't test the car before making his debut at Valencia and his high-quality team-mate Fernando Alonso. Fundamentally, however, he wasn't ready for F1. He made himself unpopular in the team by not learning from his mistakes and by carrying himself as someone who had made it to the big-time, rather than one just taking his first steps there. He also made a poor impression out of the car. Indeed, his habit of going for a very public run before jumping in the car – a technique that he believed gave him a psychological edge – was a source of much amusement to many of his rivals.

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