After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year.
Finishing seventh after an impressive second-half charge was Romain Grosjean…
No. 8 Lotus-Renault
2013 Stats: 7th Place, 0 Wins, 6 Podiums, 7 Top-5s, 13 Top-10s, 36 Laps Led
Average Start: 8.1
Average Finish: 9.6
DiZinno says: Comeback driver of the year, without question. Name your cliche – rags to riches, zero to hero, whatever – there’s no doubt Grosjean saved his career and then asserted himself as Lotus team leader in the second half. Interestingly the Lotus was never that hard on its tires in the first half, but come the midseason construction change Grosjean’s form improved even more so; I’m not sure how much of that was down to his mind clearing up or him just finding a better balance with the car’s setup. Lotus alternated between a long and short wheelbase car in the second half. Nonetheless, the run of podiums heralded him as a race winner-in-waiting, and as team leader in 2014, he’ll have to keep improving to ensure Lotus remains a formidable effort.
Estrada says: Just when we were ready to declare him a lost cause following his Monte Carlo weekend from Hell, Grosjean put up a rally to not only save his spot in Formula One but also elevate himself to team leader at Lotus. A podium run at the Nurburgring heralded his upswing and by the time he had fought the Red Bull tandem of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber tooth-and-nail in Japan, he had completed his revival. Following Japan, Grosjean rattled off podium finishes at India and the United States, where he claimed a career-high second. And as 2014 looms, the Frenchman is now surely aiming for bigger and better things.