Romain Grosjean warned his F1 rivals he will not back down in wheel-to-wheel racing despite his ban earlier this year for causing a crash in Belgium.
“I’ve learnt that you can over-compensate by trying to avoid any potential incident,” said Grosjean ahead of the final race of the season in Brazil.
“We’re all racers on track so that’s what you do. I don’t want the reputation of being an easy touch and I’m certainly not an open door on track; I’ll fight for every position. I’ve left a memo: I won’t leave the door open, and I’m looking to race.”
Grosjean recovered to finish seventh in the USA after spinning off early in the race. “It was hard after the spin coming back through the pack, but I knew it was possible to do it,” he said.
“We had to set a good pace but also take care of everything on the car; including the tyres to try not to finish on the rims! It worked and I think we made another good improvement in Austin. We should hopefully take our qualifying and race pace to Brazil.”
His race got off to a strong start when he passed team mate Kimi Raikkonen who was battling with Michael Schumacher. “With eight world titles between them it felt pretty good,” said Grosjean.
“Kimi had a go at Michael through turn 11, then had a bad exit whereas I had a good one. Michael pushed Kimi out to the right meaning I could go for the opening on the left.
“It was not the hardest overtaking manoeuvre of the year, but I was in the right place at the right time and I’m told it looked pretty good on TV. The race itself was good; the car showed strong pace, although there were a couple of frustrations when I got stuck behind a Force India and then spun on lap seven.”
2012 United States Grand Prix
Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT