Romain Grosjean believes he has proven himself as one of the best drivers in Formula One this year and says he is ready to lead Lotus into 2014.
Grosjean transformed his reputation in the second half of the year from a quick but crash-prone driver to Red Bull’s closest challenger. A series of crashes in 2012 led to criticism from fellow drivers at the end of last year, but now that he has started to deliver on his potential, Grosjean believes he is among the best in the world.
“I think I have proven that I am part of the best drivers and that’s how I consider myself,” he said. “It took some work and some painful time to get there, but I am now proud of what I am doing and I don’t think I can do more.”
He said he put pressure on himself after 2012 to improve his form.
“I was probably the one that was the most negative about myself,” he added. “I hate not being able to do what I want to be able to do and it was hard. It wasn’t nice to read those comments, but that was not what was worst, the worst was to not be happy with what you are doing. Right now I am glad because I’m very happy with what I am doing and it’s always nice to be able to read those nice comments. But it’s mainly with yourself that you need to be happy.”
Kimi Raikkonen has left Lotus for Ferrari over the winter and Grosjean will be joined by Pastor Maldonado next year. However, after two years of growing up with the team, Grosjean believes he is the right man to lead it in 2014.
“I do think so. The team knows me and I know them very well. I feel at home at Enstone and I feel at home when I am with them, and we do enjoy our time together. We work hard and we are always able to say things face-to-face, which is important when I’m not driving well, and the times when I’m not happy with something I tell them. That relationship allows us to step up and I think they are ready for me to be the leader and I am ready to be the leader.”
Info: ESPN Sports Media Ltd., Image: Lotus / LAT