Romain Grosjean, Haas, Silverstone, 2018

Grosjean fears he’ll never drive for a ‘Formula 1 A’ team

2019 F1 season

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Romain Grosjean suspects he may have missed his chance to win races and championships with one of Formula 1’s top teams.

Speaking to media at the Hockenheimring the 32-year-old said he doubts a place at one of the top three teams will open up.

“Ferrari is probably going to sign [Charles] Leclerc if it’s not already done,” he said. “Red Bull is always going to use their young driver talents. Mercedes same thing, they’ve got a lot of talent coming through.

“As long as Formula 1 is a bit ‘Formula 1 A’ and the other one ‘Formula 1 B’, it could well be that I never win a grand prix and never get a chance to be world champion. But that’s Formula 1.”

Grosjean sees other drivers which he feels are in the same position as him.

“I guess the same for [Nico] Hulkenberg, same for [Sergio] Perez and who else has been here for a long time.

“I’m lucky to have had podiums already. You look at Nico he’s never had any podiums and he’s been in Formula 1 for a long time.”

He doubts Haas will be able to compete for victories on merit in the near future.

“Never say never but obviously as long as there’s going to be a gap… I mean we finished fourth in Austria, one lap down. It’s not like you can even be close on a good day, it’s one lap down, what can you hope?”

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said at Silverstone he is getting frustrated with the series of incidents Grosjean has been involved in this year. However Grosjean said he has been in discussions with the team about a contract extension.

“We’ve been talking about it. It was great that I didn’t have to think about it for the last two years but obviously contract ends at the end of the year.

“We’ll see. It’s a great place to be. There are not a lot more teams that I can do better than where I am now unless you are Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes. I think we are in a very good position.”

Grosjean admitted he would feel “sad” if he didn’t get the chance to compete for wins and championships again.

“But it’s not the end of the world. I’ve got a nice family, I’ll be having I don’t know how many season in Formula 1.

“If you look at the junior categories, I’ve seen the stat last year, I’m the driver in Formula 1 that won the most junior categories before coming to F1. The most titles in junior categories, more than Lewis [Hamilton] and anything else.

“But you’re in Formula 1 and if you don’t have the right car you know you can’t win. I’d rather be in that situation than being team mate with someone who has been three or four time world champion, and never won a championship in the same car.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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31 comments on “Grosjean fears he’ll never drive for a ‘Formula 1 A’ team”

  1. Finally, he gets something right.

  2. He needs to help make HAAS an “A” team then. Crashing less would be a good start.

    1. Won’t happen with Ferrari being there (Being an A team). HAAS will always be a B team unfortunately

  3. Some time ago I’ve commented about the risk that the current structure will generate a field of losers – or not winners.
    Most drivers can only dream with a podium and wonder what is a GP win.
    In the past wins and podiums were concentrated, but today it seems hard even for the second driver on the F1A teams – even without team orders.
    A few post ago, a Renault team director talked about the “the awful ammount of money” the team already took from the factory. But for what result?
    It is not difficult to see why factories avoid F1.

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      20th July 2018, 10:00

      That always happened in F1. F1 sucess is a pyramid since 1950.

  4. Honest word from him. He used to be one of the upcoming drivers. But actually he has deteriorated a lot lately.

  5. Mate, if I were you, I’d be more worried about still having a B-team seat in 2019. Just saying…

    1. Damn straight! He should be a lot more worried about holding onto the Haas seat for 2019.

    2. This Grosjean guy has no class at all.

      I understand he has a tough time, with a much younger and less experienced teammate, who is outperforming him in almost every race and quali and scoring almost 4/5 of the teams points. For 1/4 of Grosjeans salsary.

      Why not credit his teammate for once, when everybody knows Magnussen is Grosjeans biggest challenge and threat to his current job. It’s very difficult to have any sympathy with this arrogance attitude.

      Grosjean makes to many errors and is to slow. That’s why he is not considered in a A-team, B-team or C-team at the moment. He has a contract for 2018, but in reality very close to the end of his F1 carreer. Unless a miracle happens in the next 2 races.

    3. haha..good one, exactly what I was thinking when I saw the headline.

      He needs to buck up big time if he is to stay at Haas.

    4. I think Leclerc is in his seat as Ferrari wants him in a stronger team to do more experience.

    5. My exact thoughts. I would be worried that I might not have a B team or a C team ready to employ me for next season. Driving for an A team… that idea should have evaporated from his mind a couple of seasons ago.

    6. @phylyp he’s preparing his exit. “And so I decided to move to a different series because of this”.

      1. That makes a lot of sense, @m-bagattini

  6. Mr. Grosjean, as many have commented, is doing well to still have a seat at all this year, never mind next year, never mind at a top team.

    Having said that, there really is no point not being one of the big three anymore. It was bad enough when it was four, but at least there wss potential variety. In fact, it’s been more like the big 1.5 since hybrids came in. In the 80’s there were hopeless teams who couldn’t pre-qualify, backmarkers, the midfield, and the top few. In terms of performance gaps, the gaps were probably actually bigger, but there were other gaps which could lead to unpredictability: strategy being guessed wrong, mechanical failure, driver skill/preparation… One of the major changes is that all those gaps have either closed, or narrowed significantly; which in turn means there’s less chance of an upset.

  7. Romain seems like a nice guy and a talented driver but, his mental lapses will not be tolerated by any F1 team so he should forget about getting a seat with a big-budget team ( because it’s not going to happen ) and concentrate on doing whatever he can to help Haas to a podium finish .
    Haas ,when one factors in the time it has been in F1, the size of it’s team ( 218 people compared to the 1,500 Mercedes has ) and a rather small budget, has done a great job and with some luck ( like both drivers from a competitor taking themselves out of the race CAN get a podium .
    So Romain, be grateful for what you have , work your butt off and concentrate on getting your present team to where they might be able to go.
    What could be a greater accomplishment than helping a team finish above where it’s budget would dictate ?

  8. Don’t give up hope yet, Grosjean. You seem to wreck as many vehicles as in any given A-Team episode. And also put on a good spectacle while doing it.

    1. I’m old enough to get that reference 😊

  9. Was good knowing you old chap. Now get on to Formula E. So long

  10. Building a reputation from a small team is very hard. Grosjean should feel lucky that this Haas team actually allowed him to show his worth… I remember back when he signed for them, I commented that the move reminded me of Glock’s move to Virgin. Both drivers were doing well before and risked everything in a brand new project. Virgin/Marussia never really took off, whereas Haas was a point scorer team in its very first race and things got better since then.

    The thing is that even with that solid base, Grosjean has made too many mistakes. The car was tricky to drive sometimes, but this year, when things seem to be much better, he’s struggled massively. And that’s not good. Ferrari was never going to take him in the first place, and he wanted that. But they are not even going to consider him for a reserve drive with all the clashes and mistakes…

  11. Interesting. He names three drivers (himself included) who are on my list of those who are championship material.

    1. sigh … ‘not’ championship material.

  12. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    19th July 2018, 20:13

    I seem more confident in Grosjean than others. He has had a really poor year so far, but I don’t think this is exactly the ned of his career. When he does put things togeather, he usually does stand out and is certainly quicker than Magnussen. I personally think he looked quicker during the race in Australia but didn’t be quicker than Magnussen where he needed to be which was qualifying or the start of the race. Grosjean was catching up to Magnussen despite Magnussen not being held up. If there had been team orders, Grosjean could well have pulled away a bit. Then I think he clearly had a better weekend in Austria. But the problem is, he has had very few good races this year. but I still think his bad patches don’t usually go on for this long so I think he will soon turn. He looked very strong during a lot of 2013 and 2015 too. Even got a podium in Spa that year. Then he also had a great start to his first year in Haas. But he seemed to go down hill a bit towards the end of the season. Then last year, he was strong at times and the opposite at others. I just think that he will get back to being decent again. But I’ll admit he’s inconsistent. I don’t if he does have a decent 2nd half of the season, it won’t be a bad option for Hass to keep him.

  13. I remember being very excited after Australia 2013 when Kimi won with Lotus and Grosjean was in prime form himself. That was a fun duo and season, but probably Grosjean’s peak as well.

  14. Ahh , that was good. Just watched Grosjean’s Baku crash a dozen times in a row. Thanks for the memories Romain.

  15. Grosjean had a race winning car in both 2012 and 2013, as proved by his teammate.

  16. Did he just say goodbye??

  17. Grosjean looked promising early on, but he’s not improved. If anything, he’s gone backwards. His best form was while he was at Lotus with Kimi & he never looked close to being any better than Raikkonen who’s certainly not at his best anymore. Perez’ stint @ McLaren proved he wasn’t ready for the big-time, and while I rate Hulkenberg higher than those two, I still don’t put him on the same level as the top guys (Lewis, Seb, Alonso… Max & Charles leading the charge for the younger guys…). At the moment I rate Gasly, Ocon, Sainz and Magnussen in the other Haas higher than I do Grosjean, so he needs to worry about getting the better of those guys before dreaming about seats he wouldn’t have a shot of getting anyway even if they were currently available. I can’t imagine there being much interest in him while he keeps driving the way he has been lately.

  18. Grosjean, you know you are in trouble when people forget about Ericsson to criticize you.

    I think it is time, call Bourdais, ask him to find you a seat in indycar, they don’t seem to care too much about the number of times a driver crashes

  19. “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

  20. Fear it? I can guarantee it.

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