Exclusive interview with Romain Grosjean
1 September 2011 – He was doubted by many after a difficult spell with a descending Renault F1 team in the second half of 2009. Now he is GP2 Champion, determined to return to the top of the sport and prove the cynics wrong. GPUpdate.net speaks exclusively with Romain Grosjean, who picked up the 2011 GP2 title at Spa on Saturday.
Congratulations on clinching the GP2 title, which follows the Asia Series title. How does that feel?
That feels fantastic! It has been a great season on every point. The team has been working very hard to give me the best car every time and we are really close now with mechanics and engineers.
Do you feel pleased to have proved wrong those people who wrote you off after a difficult period with Renault F1 in 2009?
You know, every single person who wrote me off after 2009 helped me in the end. What doesn't kill me makes me feel stronger! They gave me even more strength to show that what we saw in 2009 was not the truth. I think today I've shown that I am even better and that the rebuild after 2009 has been an important step in my career.
What is the aim for 2012?
The aim is clearly to have a race seat in Formula 1 in a good team. I want to have a real chance to prove my potential in F1.
What do you feel are the chances of securing a good Formula 1 seat?
Well, it's difficult to give a percentage, but I think that I did my job sportingly by winning the GP2 title. It would be difficult to win a closer title to F1 as this one in the feeder series.
Renault seems the most likely option – are there any hard feelings after being left out after 2009?
Not at all! Things have changed inside the team and they are very motivated and working hard this season. This year I have had the chance to be third driver for them and I have the opportunity to know everybody a bit more.
Are you talking to any teams other than Renault?
Yes, we are having few discussions.
After 2009, Vitaly Petrov said that you rushed your F1 debut. With hindsight, do you feel there is some truth in that comment?
When you have a chance to jump into an F1 race seat, you can't say no! I had that opportunity and it was clear that I couldn't answer ‘no’.
Would you be happy with starting at the back of the F1 grid?
Not so much. I think there are options to be well placed on the grid, if discussions succeed.
When did you stop working in the Swiss bank?
I am still working at the bank…not physically anymore, but with some customers.
How will you be spending the next few weeks?
I want to score as many points as possible at Monza to try and win the Teams' Championship with DAMS. Then, I don't know, I'll see!
Romain Grosjean was talking to GPUpdate.net’s Gregory Haines
Twitter: @GregoryHainesF1, @RGrosjean