No matter what’s going on at Lotus F1 with the Quantum investment, Kimi Raikkonen or money issues—the bottom line is that Romain Grosjean is producing.
The talk of his retention as the 2014 driver for Lotus F1 has been muted of late but his performance exposes a strong will to be there and prove his worth. His podium finishes in Korea, Japan and India have revealed a changed man as one year ago the paddock was clamoring for his immediate dismissal. He was even given a one-race suspension for his antics in 2012.
To team boss Eric Boullier’s credit, he was not amongst the pundits who were disparaging of Grosjean’s errant driving in 2012. He calmly placed pressure on the Frenchman to do better but never slated his driver publicly like Mark Webber did calling the Frenchman a first-corner nutter.
Boullier, like many of us, saw sheer pace in Grosjean but wondered if he could turn that pace into race craft and marry the speed with the maturity and control of a top-flight Formula 1 driver. If 2013 is any measure; he’s done that and more.
After Grosjean’s missed podium in Abu Dhabi, Boullier had nothing but praise. ESPN has the call:
“It is [an impressive performance] just unfortunately we couldn’t get closer to Rosberg to put more pressure on him,” Boullier said. “He’s had a good race and definitely he drove – again – brilliantly.”
Agree or not, Grosjean knows his teammate, the much vaunted Raikkonen, is leaving and the young Frenchman has a chance to make this team his own. A chance to step into the team leader role and seize the opportunity. He’s clearly setting himself up for that role with three podiums in a row and a 4th place finish in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina circuit.
If you were anit-Grosjean in 2012, and who wasn’t, what are your feelings now? Has he redeemed himself and do you see him in the role as team leader for Lotus F1 in 2014?