Celebrating his fourth podium finish is five race, Lotus F1’s Romain Grosjean has firmly planted himself as a main contender if Formula 1. In fact, team boss Eric Boullier reckons he is one of the top four drivers on the grid:
“We’ve always known Romain is super fast, actually maybe too fast, and sometimes too fast for his car,” said Boullier.
“Having some completeness with his family has helped him reach another level of confidence, and then you see the results on track.
“He is starting to be a damned good driver. I think you can rate him in the top three or four today.
“He started to perform well from Germany onwards. There was still a bit fine-tuning needed on his side, but he has had a very fine second half of the season.”
A year ago the F1 paddock was ready to run the Frenchman out of town for his collisions and incidents but what a difference a year can make. Boullier, to his credit, never gave up on Grosjean and now the man everyone said wasn’t long for the F1 world is now the lead driver for the team.
Time, as is often the case, is the grand equalizer. Twelve months can change a career, bring a new baby and see your teammate leave and Romain seems to be a much better driver for it.
Grosjean was my “drive of the race” because anyone will tell you that keeping Red Bull’s Mark Webber behind you is no easy task. Boullier may be right. There are two young generation drivers on the grid that I believe can take the fight to Vettel and Romain may be one of them. The other, Nico Hulkenberg, should be Romain’s teammate next year but there is evidence that this may not happen.