Singapore Grand Prix – With Romain Grosjean refinding his form in Formula 1 after a dreadful start to the 2018 season, the French driver says he had to take time to reflect on what he was doing wrong to rectify the situation.
Grosjean’s early season form was very poor, with the Haas driver failing to score points in the first eight rounds. While these weren’t all necessarily his fault, high profile mistakes such as his triggering of the first lap crash in Spain as well as sliding off under Safety Car conditions in Baku meant that accusatory fingers were being pointed in his direction, particularly as teammate Kevin Magnussen was more consistently bringing home strong points finishes.
However, in the six races from Austria through to Italy, Grosjean seems to have figured it all out. Outscoring Magnussen 27 points to the Danish driver’s 22, this doesn’t even take into account Grosjean’s disqualification from Italy for an illegal floor – the result remains under appeal from Haas. Had Grosjean been allowed keep his P6 finish from Monza, he’d be on 35 points.
“I’ve worked on myself to understand why things were not going right before.” said Grosjean. “The car is giving me a better feeling, as well. I’m enjoying my time, and I’m hoping there will be more and it keeps going.”
Grosjean is well known on the grid for having sought the help of sports psychologists before. In 2012, he was involved in a series of incidents and accidents that led to him being the only contemporary race driver to have been barred from a race, after being found to be the catalyst for the violent crash on the opening lap of that year’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Grosjean is well liked at Haas, and his willingness to concede his shortcomings may yet grant him a stay of execution. He is without contract at the team for next year and, while team boss Guenther Steiner has admitted to frustration with Grosjean, he says that his form has turned around. Steiner says the change is down to whatever Grosjean is doing differently, but doesn’t know what that is: “If I would’ve known that, I would’ve made it happen earlier. I think he’s focusing really hard on it. He knows our expectations of him. Just by focusing and concentrating on what to do, I think that has helped him.”