Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean has been reflecting on his season so far over the summer break, and has come to the realisation that he needs to curb his frustration if he is to ever drive for a top F1 team.
Brake issues with the VF17 have been the bane of the Frenchman’s season so far, as well as last year, causing him to rant over team radio at almost every race weekend since joining the American squad at the start of 2016, and the 31-year-old knows he has to rein his disappointment in to avoid putting potential employers off.
Speaking in an interview with motorsport.com recently, Grosjean cited his emotional state as the main area of his work ethic that could do with some improvement.
“There are always things you can improve.
“Finding your way, when you are frustrated, to deal with things differently and dealing better with the brakes not working and stuff like that – I need to work more on that.
“Generally my level of driving, fitness, feedback is pretty much ready to be world champion in a good car.”
Now well known for the moaning sessions to his race engineer across the airwaves, the Frenchman was quick to point out that he only complains because he is so eager to succeed.
“I get frustrated because I want to win. Then if I get frustrated, I talk on the radio. So where to escape the frustration?
“The other way of seeing it is to say ‘OK I’m not going to win the race, I’m just going to get my money, drive and go home’.
“If I get to that stage, when I’m 31 and I want to be world champion, then my career’s kind of over.
“As long as you keep that flame and that winning spirit and you’re not happy because you’ve qualified 14th but you’ve beat your teammate… that’ll never make me happy. For some people it does, great for them, but it’ll never be [enough] for me.
“I need to get my radio messages down but I get frustrated because I want to win. If you’re leading or if you’ve got a car which can win, then you’re not shouting and you’re not complaining because you are where you think you belong.”
Grosjean had shown some promise whilst driving for the Lotus F1 Team (before it became the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team) from 2012 to 2015, where he claimed nine podium finishes, with his second year at the Enstone based squad his clear stand out season, finishing seventh in the drivers’ standings overall, and barely a complaint in sight.
Grosjean made the switch to Haas in 2016, but has not yet had a car underneath him to deliver the kind of performances we saw from the Frenchman in his Lotus days. Many believe his move to the Scuderia Ferrari affiliated squad was done with the idea in mind that he would one day get to drive for the Italian squad, and the 31-year-old certainly believes that anything is possible.
“I’m still thinking that one day the stars will align and I will get my chance.
“Since 2015, I knew I had a three-year contract with Haas, so there’s an announcement [each year] but for me it’s not an announcement.
“There are always possibilities and I guess on December 1 Valtteri [Bottas] was not expecting to be fighting for the world championship instead of for seventh or eighth or whatever. Then he gets a phone call and he’s in a world champion car.
“Things can happen at any time and I’m hoping that my day comes one day.”