Grosjean “in a good position” if Raikkonen seat becomes available

2018 F1 season

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Romain Grosjean believes he’s “in a good position” to join Ferrari if a seat opens up with them for 2018.

The Haas driver has been tipped for a move to the team which supplies the engine and ancillaries for his car.

“I think it’s early days, we are not even in July,” said Grosjean when asked about his chances of moving to Ferrari in 2018.

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Both Ferrari drivers are out of contract at the end of this year. But as Sebastian Vettel leading the drivers’ championship, Kimi Raikkonen is considered the more likely of the two to lose his seat.

“Who knows what the F1 grid is going to be like next year?” Grosjean said. “Valtteri [Bottas] is of course waiting on Mercedes.”

“Then there is the Kimi case, what is he going to do? Since 2010 everyone thinks he’s going to be out of Formula One and here we are in 2017, he’s 38 and he’s still here doing a decent job.”

“So I don’t know. If there is an opportunity, a seat, I believe I’m in a good position. But it doesn’t necessarily mean everything.”

Grosjean said the example of Bottas taking the seat vacated by Nico Rosberg at the end of last season showed “life is full of surprises.”

“If you ask Valtteri what he was doing on the 15th of December I’m sure he would say ‘I’m going again with Williams’. Next thing you know you’re in a world champion car. So it’s a phone call. The best we can do is do a good job on the track.”

Waiting for victories ‘frustrating’

It’s been a while since Grosjean topped a podium
Only two drivers in F1 today have gone longer without winning a race than Grosjean. The Haas driver admitted to feeling some frustration at having gone so long without being in serious contention for victory.

“I’m frustrated sometimes because I love winning and that’s what matters to me in Formula One,” he said. “Obviously coming from categories where you’ve won everything and then you come to F1 and you don’t get a chance to win a race.”

“It’s like you’re starting a hundred metre race ten seconds behind the others. But it’s great as well to see that we can start from zero, a new team, and we can build and surprise a lot of people.”

“Everyone was ‘oh yeah, Haas is coming to Formula One, they’ve got four years full-time in the wind tunnel, they’re going to be great’. And then last year we struggled a bit and people were like ‘that’s normal for Formula One’. But actually the whole process was to prepare 2017 and now we’re already on 2018 and trying to get better every year.”

Grosjean said the team’s second year “started well” but “the problem this year is we’ve got two Mercedes, two Ferraris and two Red Bulls, the top six positions are already locked.”

“So kind of the race starts from P7 onwards. Williams and Force India have been very fast recently so you’ve got one spot, maybe two spots in the top ten to score points. It’s very tricky.”

“We lost a fair amount of points in Melbourne with the issue on the power unit while we were ahead of the midfield. But we’re working hard and I’m hoping that we can enjoy a bit more the fight for bigger points.”

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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...

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41 comments on “Grosjean “in a good position” if Raikkonen seat becomes available”

  1. I don’t expect many movements at the top end until we get a better view of who will end up on top in de WDC and even in the inner Mercedes fight (HAM’s last race might have been great, but the season has been stop en go and BOT is constantly improving).

    And the keen reader will have picked up on the rumours that Verstappen is not having a gay old time at RBR. Although I’d never match him with VET/HAM/ALO at Ferrari ;)

    1. Do not read to much in the emotional outburst of VER. It’s not the standard PR puppy and he already shows patience.
      But loosing so many points to mechanical troubles is always hard.

      1. VER is upset because RIC is enjoying better luck within the team. Dont think he is upset with RBR

        1. VER stated to the Dutch press that he has faith in RBR but not in Renault. He stated that Renault has been making a lot of claims of getting more performance out of their PU and MGU’s but they never really lived up to expectations since he is in F1.

  2. Grosjean’s interesting – he’s someone I’d love to see him finally step up to a frontrunning car, god knows he’s paid his dues and at his age he has to make a move up the grid soon if he’s ever going to get there.

    We’ve seen how fantastic he can be in a competitive car; when he finally matured in the second half of the 2013 season from a “first-lap nutcase” to a rapid and consistent force, he was a joy to watch as he put in almost Alonso-esque performances, getting the absolute maximum out of the E21 race after race. I think his string of podiums in the second half of ’13 was some of the best driving we’ve seen this decade, he was the only one consistently pushing the Red Bulls.

    He has trailed off a tiny bit since then in terms of outright speed and “transcending the car”, but then I think he might have a bit of Jenson Button about him; quite narrow operating window and needs the right circumstances to really be at his quickest, but put him in the right car and he can be supreme. I believe 2013 was to Grosjean what 2004 was to Button; an alignment of great driver with the right car, but not quite enough to break through. Hopefully Grosjean has a 2009 Button in him.

    1. Nobody was able to really push the bulls in the end of 2013, well Vettel at least. Vettel won the last 9 races of the season.The last non Vettel-won race was Hungary 2013. Kinda Sad really( not if you’re Vettel).
      As for Grosjean, he doesn’t look to have what it takes to challenge Vettel. He did outshine Raikkonen at the end of 2013, but Raikkonen had some contract problems with Lotus then and he got more points in the end of the season. It will be sad if he just transforms to a Ferrari 2nd driver. The midfield hero sounds better to be honest.

  3. Everyone seems to complain about Raikkonen these days, but to fair, I don’t think there are that many better options which is why he is still at Ferrari to this day.
    Of the viable options:
    He seemed to have a handle on Grosjean at Lotus, and Grosjean seems to have his hands full with K-Mag (and the brakes on his own car)
    Bottas is probably gonna be locked down to Merc for the next 2 years or so, with the performances he’s been putting in
    Sainz, Perez and Ocon are a maybe. Out of the 3, I reckon Sainz has the best balance of speed and experience to make the next jump up, but again – acclimatising to a new car in a new team may mean they are just better off running Raikkonen again.
    Hulkenberg, Ricciardo and Verstappen are all under contracts for next year; and we can’t forget about Giovianzzi. I’m sure if they were left with no other options, they’d plonk him in next to Vettel.
    Raikkonen’s definitely past his 2005 McLaren prime, but these years cars really seem to suit him, and he does bring in a bunch of points every race. I don’t think they’ll be any change at Ferrari unless something happens to Vettel; and the way the season is unfolding, I don’t think that’s gonna happen any time soon.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      22nd June 2017, 15:28

      I’d say Sainz is looking the worst out of the drivers you’ve mentioned. He’s collected 4 penalty points this year over just 4 races, taken himself out of 2 races as well as 2 other drivers. He’s made himself look no better than Kvyat IMO even though the points don’t show that. Kvyat has been having a load of bad luck which has been making him look worse than he is. Sainz has had some very strong races but an equal amount of very poor ones. I think he was up and down last year too. He’s made too many dangerous moves recently to be ready for a better team really. In Mexico near the end of last year, he nearly made Alonso have a big crash at a really fast speed too. I think Toro Rosso should keep both of their drivers and make them one one of the more experienced teams as both drivers have been in for several years now.

      1. robert steiner
        23rd June 2017, 7:34

        Ben Rowe. Are you pay to attack Sainz? As soon as somebody write something good about him you jump out like a bullet!!! Who has not a crash in F1? I do not think he has a single one in his first year as a rookie, last year as well, one with Perez and not his fault!! This year, 2. I think it is actually not bad, but i do not understand, it seems people has not memory!!

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          23rd June 2017, 10:09

          No other driver on the grid has collected as many points recently compared to Sainz. That is my point. Being responsible for 4 retirements, collecting 4 penalty points and 2 3 place grid drops is not a good thing over just 4 races. He is very good at times, I have to admit that. But I don’t see how anyone can disagree that he is inconsistent. It seems you didn’t read what I said. He got a penalty towards te end of last season too for nearly causing a huge accident. While he was good a lot of the time last season too, he did make quite a lot of mistakes. But yes, so did other drivers. I certainly remember him making a few mistakes in 2015, but yes, not that many.

          I’m just trying to point out that he’s had more crashes and penalties during the races this year than drivers like Stroll and that doesn’t make him look great does it? I’m only saying negative things about him because of what I’ve seen. And I don’t think a top team will be wanting him if he is this inconsistent. Other drivers that we think are terrible have made less mistakes than Sainz this year. I do still think Sainz is a good driver, but not as good as most suggest.

  4. Fikri Harish (@)
    22nd June 2017, 15:04

    People seem to conveniently forget that Ferrari has two highly capable drivers in their Academy right now.
    Giovinazzi and Leclerc. I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again, I doubt Giovinazzi was willing to go with Ferrari’s plan on benching him this year unless he’s getting some form of assurance on a race seat.
    He could’ve been on the F2 grid this year, and given Fuoco’s troubles so far he should’ve been, so I don’t see why he’d be willing to stand around in the paddock unless there’s something more to that.

    1. @fihar
      Hasn’t Ferrari got a policy of not hiring rookies? Does anyone know when was the last time they did?

      1. @jimg, yes, Ferrari have traditionally demanded experienced drivers – I think that the last driver to make his debut with Ferrari was Arturo Merzario in 1972 (although Gilles Villeneuve did have just one race under his belt for McLaren when he moved to Ferrari in 1978).

        I believe that the least experienced driver that Ferrari have hired in about 30 years would be Jean Alesi in 1991, who had driven for about a season and a half at Tyrrell, followed by Massa with three seasons worth of experience in 2003. It would break one of Ferrari’s core policies that has been in place pretty much since the foundation of the team – Enzo Ferrari himself always insisted on hiring experienced drivers over rookies – and it seems very unlikely that will change.

    2. I doubt that Giovinazzi was/is in any position to demand ‘some form of assurance on a race seat’ ;)

      1. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t. Thing is that Ferrari would probably want to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Hire Grosjean and put one of the future stars in the B team (also hire the other one as test driver). Their future is locked with Ferrari seeing how they are both good drivers and Leclerc being possibly the next big thing. Leclerc is probably the “hottest” prospect in lower formulas at the moment and Ferrari want to have him covered if he wins F2 and cannot compete there next year. Haas seems the logical step for next year if Leclerc wins the F2 championship since Sauber isn’t getting Ferrari engines in 2018.

  5. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    22nd June 2017, 15:20

    Grosjean is a very up and down driver. When he has a good car he often is very good. But whenever the car was bad last year, Gutierrez almost always seemed to beat him. The end result was that Gutierrez beat Grosjean more often than not. but Grosjean did perform well when the car was competitive and this was what got him points. But in the 2 races where the car was at it’s strongest, Gutierrez had to retire. But if this is the case when he’s driving for a top team and the team has a few races where the car isn’t quite perfect, based on what we’ve seen recently from Grosjean, he could perform pretty badly.

    It does make me wonder if Grosjean will be able to perform in a team like Ferrari. I still think it could be the case that if he went to this team, if there was a day where the car wasn’t just right, he could make a total mess of it and just not perform to the standers the team needs. I used to think Grosjean was better until I saw him against Gutierrez. I think Perez would be a better choice for Ferrari or maybe Bottas if Mercedes doesn’t keep him.

    1. Guitterez pushed harder which flattered him. In the end he was always realed in

    2. Gutierrez beat Grosjean? In which way? Because he was out-qualified and the points were 29 to 0…

      1. Watch the races.

        I’ve never pretended Guti was teh hawtness, ever. I just liked the guy.

        But in their year together, they were pretty much even. And that says more of Grosjean’s avewrage performance sans his peaks.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        23rd June 2017, 9:43


        Points don’t make it look like they were about equal but Grosjean was hardly better. Grosjean scored well over 60% of his points in the first 2 races alone when the car was much more compettetive. Gutierrez retired in both through no fault of his own. If Grosjean had retired instead of him in these 2 races, they would be far coser on points a the end of the season. Grosjean may have scored in other races too, but not that many points. The main thing that made Grosjean look poor is that when Gutierrez had his run of 4 or 5 11th place finishes, most of them, Grosjean was well behind him. And more often than not this season, Gutierrez did finish ahead of Grosjean. Grosjean was only good when the car was. When the car was poor, which it was most of the time, he was normally as bad or worse than his team mate which explains why the results were like they were. Even tough it was Gutierrez who suffered more reliabily problems. But Grosjean did get points where he had the oppertunity. Gutierrez did have a few chances but he didn’t manage t get any. It still doesn’t make me change my mind that Grosjean hardly performed better overall though.

  6. In a good position to be number 2 to Vettel tbh….

  7. I don’t see how he would eventually end up in the saddle of a prouncing horse, but good luck, Romain…

  8. Ferrari’s options for next year seem to be: Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Perez, Sainz and Alonso. Raikkonen as we know isn’t great right now, and if he were to cost Ferrari the WCC, and not win a single race in a season where they’ve had the joint best car, Ferrari may not look to keep him. However, we have seen them keep drivers like this before. Hulkenberg would be my personal choice, but Renault will be looking to do anything to keep him. Perez is also a very good and solid option, but if Ocon does start beating him, his stock will go down, especially as Ferrari wouldn’t necessarily want to hire someone who doesn’t really play the team game, and is getting beaten by a Mercedes junior driver no less. As for Sainz, Ferrari won’t sign him. They will never want to sign someone who effectively is a Red Bull “reject”. Alonso is very unlikely due to the manner in which he left, but you never know.

  9. I don’t think he’s in a good position. He’s not even in contention if you ask me… maybe that brake issue in the Haas is condemning Romain to the midfield forever, because he’s not able to deliver consistently and sometimes looks completely out of it.

  10. A big if but if Alfa Romeo were to join F1 as an independent/ferrari b team there are spaces for the junior guys and Grosjean though I suspect Sainz would jump him. l also wouldnt rule out Verstappen or even Hamilton being at Ferrari despite what their contract say, maybe Sainz replaces Ricciardo and he joins Ferrari? Who knows?

    Also Alfa joining allows Ferrari a bigger pot of cash even if monies are spread out more evenly and would give a excellent return for minimum investment due to shared technology and an instant space high up the grid.
    Great PR for AR too as they build their brand realignment.

    1. If Alfa Romeo do join as a Ferrari B-Team (which I’d love to see, as Ferrari never give their young drivers a real chance, and this would give them that), then Giovinazzi and Leclerc would be straight in the car.

  11. Pérez would be a better choice, he has been the best of the rest for almost two years

    1. I totally disagree

      1. You can´t disagree with facts lol

  12. Estaban de los Casas
    22nd June 2017, 17:52

    Who talks about this in this manner? So open about his chances for such change. But sometimes that special coming together of when the right driver at the same time the right racecar and they become a force. I also wonder if it a possible negative effect for his time at Haas. Recall when he was once considered dangerous in the racecar at starts. Now he is standing in the hallway at Ferrari waiting for the door to open. In the end the promise of results with Grosjean is ripe and the history books will like this period of success coming to Ferrari

  13. Only started beating Kimi regularly second half of season. I mean seriously we know going to have Grosjean for Vettel someone who Kimi matches well. Vettel loves easy teammates. One year he had a good one at peak what happend…

    1. Arad (@just-an-fan)
      23rd June 2017, 0:16

      The always-complaining and moaning Grosjean is so overhyped and overrated. Ferrari will never sign someone who complains about his car every session.

    2. Vettel loves winning championships. Four of them so far, and possibly on his way to a fifth one, while outperforming a world champion in the same car. And I remember Red Bull and Renault going from world champions to making an unreliable car. Three years later and they have barely improved.

  14. Perfect nr2 driver profile

  15. Does anyone more than Haas want to sign him? I doubt with the ego he has that he will accept to be 2nd driver in a team.

    1. Arad (@just-an-fan)
      23rd June 2017, 0:17

      It’s just the hype, even he started believing them! He can only dreaming of a Ferrari seat! People say, he only accepted to drive for HAAS because he wanted to move to Ferrari. HAHAHA he signed with Haas because nobody wanted him!

  16. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    22nd June 2017, 20:58

    Perhaps,we might see a “crazy” scenario?Grosjean going to Ferrari as the “No2” driver & if Kimi wants to race,he goes to Haas to enjoy driving for a last season without stress & pressure.Haas could get extremely benefited by having a big brand name like Kimi & they could put,for instance Leclerc drive in many FP1,so that he can prepare for 2019

  17. If I was Ferrari, I would loure in Nico Rosberg. Grosjean is also quite good, but from midfielders Perez is better.

    Then there are young guns, Occon and Seinz.

    Getting then Red Bull boys, now that would be something.

    Ferrari then has 5-7 options, that seem better than Kimi…

  18. There are a few no more than mediocre drivers talking them selves up in the media…. in the media they make it look like they are on some kind of list, while in fact probably no such things are true.

    I am hinting on Grosjean and Sainz especially, both good drivers, but at the most at the end of the top 10…. not good enough to join either of the three top teams. Ocon, Perez, Hulkenberg and maybe even Wehrlein do have (to my opinion) better potential.

    Ferrari and Mercedes will most likely proceed with drivers like Ocon, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Perez, Alonso after one of the current drivers leave. I don;t see Grosjean or Sainz as a realistic option.

  19. Would go for MAG in the Ferrari seat for 2019…and let Kimi drive until then, 2018 –
    why: He is already as fast as GRO but he is only 24 – thats 7 years younger than GRO and a perfect 2. driver. Easy mind and a teamplayer….

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