As Formula One driver Romain Grosjean enters the twilight of his career at the top level of motor racing, the French racer has made a sad reveal ahead of this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.
Grosjean and teammate Kevin Magnussen were informed by Haas several weeks ago that their contracts with the American team would not be extended beyond 2020, as the team seeks to find a way out of the F1 doldrums.
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As the team begins the search for an all-new driver line-up, Grosjean, who is also the president of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, discussed how news of his departure had impacted the paddock.
Despite his key role as a go-between for the drivers and the FIA, Grosjean revealed only Williams driver George Russell had reached out to him in the days after his F1 exit was confirmed.
“I’ve had a good relationship with George,” Grosjean said.
“When the announcement was made that I wasn’t going to be with the team next season, he was the first and only one to send me a WhatsApp message.
“That really shows he’s a great guy.”
Grosjean was one of two drivers, alongside world champion Lewis Hamilton, to publicly reassure Russell after he crashed behind the safety car during the Emilia Romanga GP.
It was reminiscent of a similar incident in which Grosjean lost control of his car while following the safety car during the 2018 Azerbaijan GP.
F1 bids farewell to enigmatic racer Romain Grosjean
Grosjean has been a polarising figure in F1 for some time, known as something of a wildcard capable of brilliantly quick driving and head-scratching chaos in equal measure.
The 34-year-old will bow out of F1 having scored 10 podiums and 391 points across 177 race starts, with his most successful season coming in 2013.
However, he also became the first F1 driver to be handed a race ban since 1994 when he was the cause of a multi-car pile-up at the first turn of that year’s Belgian GP.
His reputation for somewhat erratic driving continued to linger even in 2020, with former F1 driver Mark Webber slamming the Frenchman after both Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz complained about him moving from side to side under braking during the British GP.
“He is moving around very late in defending. He is saying he is leaving a car’s width on the inside, which technically he is, but this weaving in the middle of the road at high speed, he has got to be even further across to show his intention earlier,” Webber said on Britain’s Channel 4.
“I think Grosjean has a gross misunderstanding of what current Grand Prix racing is all about in terms of wheel-to-wheel combat.
“He’s mentioned how Max Verstappen was in the past, and that is in the past, we have moved on.
“He’s the chairman of the GPDA. He should know the rules.”
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