Speaking of Geneva, Switzerland brings many things to a human mind - the wonderful Alps, Swiss chocolates, and watches amongst many things. It also brings to attention that it is thw center of many leading organizations of the world like the UN (their European headquarters), WHO and ILO amongst many others and when it comes to Formula One, being the tax haven that Switzerland is; it is the favoured residence for many drivers. Amongst all of this, what you might not know though is that Geneva is also the place where the talented but mercurial Romain Grosjean took his first steps and today he is taking much longer strides towards a possible future Formula One World Driver’s Championship.
From being described as ‘the first lap nutcase by his colleagues to ‘Crashjean’ by the fans of the sport, it wasn’t easy for Romain to win over people. It would be wrong to say he hadn’t made a mark in Formula One because he made quite a mark with his spectacular shunts, especially in 2012 when out of the seven retirements he had to suffer that season, six were down to a driver error with Belgium 2012 proving to be the biggest dent on people’s memory with a multi car pile up. This led to a single race ban and it looked like the incident was set to bring a premature end to his F1 career, again! But credit goes to the Lotus team principal Eric Boullier who stuck with him and to say Romain Grosjean paid back the ‘faith’ shown in him would be an understatement.
This year was dominated by Sebastian Vettel and sprinkled with brilliance from Alonso, Hamilton and Kimi but they have been there for a long time, know the tricks of the trade and have arguably the tools for success. But if you step down a level and look at the younger lot of Nico Rosberg, Hulkenberg, Romain, Pastor, Perez and Di Resta, I would put my money on Grosjean to have been the most improved and the stand out driver of 2013.
Romain Grosjean is on a road to redemption, while he is there half-way through, the destination is still quite a bit of distance away. Next year brings about a seas of changes and Ro Gro finds himself in an unusual role of being the team leader. Whether the outfit survives altogether in reference to recent reports is a different issue altogether and even if it does there is a sea of change next year with engine(dubbed power units) and aerodynamic changes and who knows how Lotus will respond. The drivers line ups next year are also quite tough. It goes without saying that Lotus have to produce a good car but the onus lies on Grosjean to bring the hard work of the men at Enstone to fruition. Going by some of his recent drives, it seems if there is to be a French World Drivers Champion in the future, it has to be him. But then it all lies in the mind of a ‘nutcase’.
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