F1 2014 Driver Review: Romain Grosjean


Romain Grosjean

Team: Lotus F1 Team
Car No.: 8
Races: 19
Wins: 0
Podiums (excluding wins): 0
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 8
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 14th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

After such an impressive end to the 2013 season, big things were expected of Romain Grosjean this year. As a result, a yield of just eight points seems like a disastrous campaign for the Frenchman.

However, it does not begin to tell the whole story. Lotus has suffered its fair share of financial uncertainty over the past 12 months, meaning that the E22 car was behind schedule and always facing an uphill battle to be on the pace – simply finishing the second race of the year in Malaysia was an achievement for Grosjean.

Through the struggles though, Grosjean led the team’s charge, scoring eight of its ten points with two great performances in Spain and Monaco. Unlike his teammate, Pastor Maldonado, it’s hard to see where Grosjean could have or should have done better in 2014. His struggles were simply circumstantial.

Hopefully 2015 will hold bigger and better things for RoGro. In a difficult year, he proved himself to be a mature and talented racer, even if his car left much to be desired.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

I doubt this will catch on but it may be worth calling the Frenchman Romain “Roller Coaster” Grosjean, because he’s had a four-year F1 career with more up and downs than most drivers tend to have in the entirety of their careers.

After being thrown in at the deep end in 2009, then returning in 2012 after winning the GP2 championship the year before, Grosjean’s career nearly came undone before it had the chance to get going with several crazy first lap accidents. Yet 2013 saw him emerge at long last as one of the stars of the year, as a podium regular and undisputed team leader over Kimi Raikkonen by the end of the season.

As the team’s fortunes went desperately south in 2014, so did Grosjean’s results. There were just two Q3 appearances and two points-scoring finishes, but it wasn’t as though Grosjean lost the handle on driving. Instead, the car was difficult, and the Renault engine underpowered and unreliable. Grosjean could have lost his cool at any point during the year, and other than Singapore he kept things largely in check. It was the measure of maturation for a driver many still regard as a top-flight talent in the field, whose season came undone by circumstances outside his control.