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Grosjean needs to put demons behind him on debut
Grosjean needs to put demons behind him on debut
Posted By: James Allen  |  20 Aug 2009   |  6:59 pm GMT  |  4 comments

Romain Grosjean is the first Frenchman for over 20 years to drive for Renault. It’s a great honour for him and one he’s waited patiently for.

I went along to hear what he had to say this afternoon and he seemed very excited about his opportunity, but according to people who have observed him closely, he has some demons which he needs to overcome if he is to make the most of this chance and establish himself as a Renault driver for 2010.

Apparently the huge accident he suffered in GP2 at Monaco this year (see below) really rang his bell, really shook him up and his season has clearly been affected by it.

It’s not the ideal preparation for the biggest moment of your career, but the whole point of being a racing driver is to challenge fate, to make things happen for yourself.

I spoke to former racer Jacques Laffite about Grosjean today and he made the observation that the Swiss-born Frenchman is a real ‘warrior’, he has that rage in his driving which champions must have. But he has appeared to be too aggressive this season in GP2. Laffite wonders whether Grosjean might be one of those drivers who pushes too hard in the feeder series, but then arrives with a more measured performance when he takes the step up to F1, rather like Jean Alesi did in 1989. We will see.

Fernando Alonso said today that he felt Nelson Piquet’s problem was not a lack of talent, on that score Alonso rates him. Rather, he felt that Piquet wasn’t able to establish the relationships with the people in the team to get the most out of them, himself and the equipment. Grosjean has been part of the Renault set up for longer and he will be looking for the team to help him make the most of this chance.

Click here for Grosjean\'s accident at Monaco

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Mark A. Stephens

Grosjean did very well today! First time in the car and he’s beating pros and other newby’s and not far behind Nando…

Very Impressive!


rather like Jean Alesi did in 1989. We will see.

Hmmm, I didn’t witness all of Jean Alesi’s career. But what I saw, I thought he was totally over-rated by the commentators and his race results were nothing special. I could never understand what the fuss was about.

Sure, maybe he is a great person to be around, but that doesn’t make you a great racing driver, it does make you a great socialite (which, most likely, in most people’s eyes and experience, is preferable to being a great racer).

I hope you haven’t cursed Grosjean with that comparison.


French mother, Swiss father, born and lives in Switzerland…. Gotta love the PR spin.


I have wondered about Romain Grosjean’s penchant for incident but then a lot of outstanding drivers damaged some machinery early on.

I am, though, actually more curious that Jacques Laffite holds up Jean Alesi as an example of a measured approach (although there are reasons why he wouldn’t cite Prost). I always considered Alesi an enormous natural talent compromised by an over-passionate, under-reflective approach, which may have become exacerbated as he realised his career was slipping away and his cars were not as fast as him. Earlier in F1’s history, he would have been awesome! I had the opportunity to say that last bit to him when he was driving DTM cars and he grinned, knowingly I thought.

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