Grosjean warns rivals “I won’t leave the door open”

2012 United States Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

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

    Browse all 2012 United States Grand Prix articles

    Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    25 comments on “Grosjean warns rivals “I won’t leave the door open””

    1. Poor guy. I miss the Grosjean of 6 months ago. His Silverstone drive was phenomenal and its clear he’s a potential race winner. Shame he’s the scapegoat for all bad driving now in F1 while previously Maldonado and latterly Perez have given ample evidence of being equally guilty.

      1. Grosjean is quick, no doubt about it. The problem with him though is that he doesn’t appear to have learnt from his ban. Funnily enough, I think Maldonado learned more from Grosjean’s ban than Grosjean did. Pastor hasn’t been involved in any major incident for at least the past 7 races and he’s brought in some good points. However I do agree with you about Perez though I think a lot of Sergio’s recklessness has come from the pressure that has been put on him recently.

        That being said, I think Grosjean certainly should stay at Lotus for next season. Getting rid of him will be a big mistake. It’s a lot easier to tell Grosjean to tone it down a bit than it is to find a new driver with as much potential as Romain has.

        1. @davef1

          doesn’t appear to have learnt from his ban.

          What should he have learnt may I ask?

          1. @mike

            Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I’m fairly certain he was banned for his numerous first lap collisions during the season.

            So after the ban in Monza, one would assume that Grosjean would try a little harder to stay out of trouble in the first few laps of a grand prix. Unfortunately for him, he steam-rolled Webber in Japan and boxed out Rosberg at Abu Dhabi proving he is still as accident prone as he was before the ban.

      2. Yep. Poor guy, sad guy! He’s the scapegoat for bad driving in F1, no doubt about that, when I hear british journalists (Herbert*) and british fans (some of you), there is no doubt about that!

        Anyway, Fatjean is a talented F1 driver who will need to prove even when he’ll win a race (just) a bit as Vettel’s perfomances are misunderstood altough he’s double world champion.

        *Herbert also could of been more cautious and gave more space in 1988, Brand Hatch, F3000 race, causing a 10-car pile-up.

    2. I think his drive in Austin was great. Just one tiny mistake in the WE.
      He did very well to qualify 4th in the 1st place, and his race pace to recover from that gearbox-penalty (drop that ridiculous rule !) and the spin was excellent. I think team principals will see that.

      1. Great?? he was lucky that hard compound can last so long and didnt seems to suffer high degradation at all.

        I think he trying too hard to prove to others instead of enjoying his races. When you drive as well as you can, indirectly already prove doubters wrong. No need to went for public speech about how enthusiatic he is in wheel to wheel racing.

        1. I think you’ll find that having reporters want you to talk to them is very different from a public speech.

    3. He did well to recover and tried to cacth up with kimi although the latter suffer tyre graining after pitted for new hard compound with an extreme slow pitstops…..

    4. So… that means we won’t even have to wait until December 21 for the end of the world?

      Seriously, it’s good to hear that. There shouldn’t be any second-class drivers in F1. From Alonso to Karthikeyan, everyone has the same rights to fight and defend. The past achievements or mistakes, the strength of the car and the actual position in the championship standings don’t matter at all.

    5. The same guy who nearly took his own teammate out in silverstone qualifying, valencia start

      If he cant be as fast without driving recklessly, then i dont think he can be better.

    6. There’s no doubt Romain is quick driver. But his driving is far from mature. I hope he learned from his ban, that races are not won in the first corner, but he should also learn from other mistakes. He often tries to set the world on fire with how quick he is driving but almost always overdoes. He should calm down, because he is 27 years old and isn’t childish youngster. He should drive smarter in races.

    7. Grosjean has a lot of raw speed and he has shown it a couple of times this year. But he is in the group of drivers who don’t know what’s going on around them and anticipate situations – once he learns how to manage that, he’s gonna show great races.

      1. @tmf42 Yeah, like that Schumacher chap. He’ll never be a world champion driving like that…

        1. There’s a dramatic difference between a driver like Shumacher, who puts other drivers at risk because he’s ruthless*, and a driver like Grosjean who puts other drivers are risk because he’s clueless.

          *Schumi’s first career.

          1. No difference at all, if the other driver ends up on a hospital bed, or a slab.

    8. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
      20th November 2012, 16:33

      The important part of wheel-to-wheel racing is being sensible about it. Take two different attitudes into consideration:

      On one hand, you have Grosjean at the start of this year’s Belgian Grand Prix, getting too optimistic with Hamilton and as a result pushing him onto the grass, sparking the chain reaction that led to the infamous pile-up, and costing him a race ban. In this case, Grosjean was solely focused on his own maneuvering, and as a result disregarded the on-track space needed by his opponent.

      On the other, you have overtakes like Vettel on Button in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton on Raikkonen in Japan, and Button on Raikkonen in Austin. In these cases, the drivers were aggressive in their moves, but they respected their opponents – while they could easily have punted the other driver off the track, they instead left sufficient space through the corners to avoid this.

      The maxim to remember here is to be “firm, but fair” with your wheel-to-wheel racing and overtaking, and by mastering this as he matures as a driver, Grosjean should be on the path to success.

      1. @bobthevulcan there’s a lot of sense in what you write.

        But :

        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.”

        Hey, that’s the spirit :-)

        More seriously, the only limit here is safety. Apart from that, I like to see drivers taking risks, fighting and being a bit wild, even rough on the edges. As long as they’re not pushing drivers intentionally of the track, are not arrogant and know how to apologize when they have to. Reminds me of guys like Keke Rosberg / Rene Arnoux and some other drivers from this era. By the way, Grosjean would have been a safe, reliable aud cautious driver by the 80’s standards, which some people consider as the golden age of F1. Let alone for someone who has just about 25 GP behind him. Any comparison with Schumacher like some I’ve seen in the comments above would also prove the same point, just remember 1993 for instance!

        You and others are of course nevertheless right when you say that he has to improve his focus and awareness if he wants to win anything, as reliability is a huge factor those days.

        Just my honest (and passionate! :-)) opinion!

    9. I can’t see a renault, toro roso or webber closing the door to Vettel in Brasil.

    10. I like Romain, I believe he has the speed, he is agressive, he has talent to develop the car.
      But let’s remember Button move over Kimi in Austin last Sunday. They went through two or three corners with their wheels scarcely two or three inches away, fighting for position, fighting for the points, in a superb show if driving talent and sportsmanship. And then I have to admit that I can’t see Romain in that level YET.
      BTW, Kimi is third in the championship. Not THAT is awesome!!

      1. Kimi was involved in awesome wheel to wheel racing nearly every single race this season. Would love to see a summary video of Kimi’s action in 2012!

    11. Good to hear, it was disappointing watching him race in Korea against Hulkenberg. He was very tentative in defending and overtaking and it ultimately cost him a position or two.

    12. Good man, that’s the right attitude to have. He seems to have taken heed of his ban and I’m really looking forward to watching him next year when hopefully he’s a little further refined.

    13. Will Grosjean ever learn? Shooting off his mouth like this just makes him a bigger target for the officials.
      Even though he may, mistakenly, think he’s on a par with Kimi right now, I certainly hope he gets a fair shot at developing into a Championship driver. I think he might just manage that with some guidance and a fair bit of luck.

    Comments are closed.