Photo: GP2 Media Service
Romain Grosjean became the seventh GP2 Series champion on Saturday, a third place at Spa-Francorchamps being more than enough to wrap up the title with three races remaining…
Having run away with this year’s GP2 title since the midway point of the season, you may be wondering why we here at PaddockScout haven’t actually profiled Romain Grosjean. The main reason, of course, is that he has already raced in Formula 1. His spell with the Renault team at the end of 2009 was harshly criticised. He has proven this year that he has improved as a driver and that he deserves a second crack at GP2.
After entering the season as one of the main favourites, particularly after glory in the shortened Asia series at the start of the year, things got off to a bit of a slow start for Romain. He may have won the season opener in Turkey but then failed to score any points in the next three races. A qualifying incident in Monaco prevented him from winning there, but he did return to winning ways in Valencia. He still made an error at the start of the sprint race there that resulted in another non-score.
Victory in the sprint race at the next round in Silverstone was the first in a chain of six podium finishes, including three wins, which ended with the feature race at Spa. That run of results saw him pull well clear of his rivals in the points.
Having rejoined Renault as a reserve at the start of the year as well as joining the Gravity managment rostrum, Romain had been linked to another F1 chance with the team from after the GP2 campaign finishes in Italy. However, with Bruno Senna reportedly in for the rest of the year he looks like he will have to wait until 2012.
His chances there rest of whether the injured Robert Kubica can return to racing at Renault. If not, he will be in contention for that seat, and could also put Vitaly Petrov’s place in the team under pressure. Team principal Eric Boullier has been keen to give Romain another chance and is under pressure to get a fellow Frenchmen into an F1 race seat. Other opportunies could lie with Renault-powered teams, should either the F1 team or the engine supplier be prepared to fund a drive with another team. Williams could well provide that opportunity as they return to Renault power for 2012, and would no doubt take an offer of a paid driver. An alternative could be for Gravity to try and place him at Virgin, replacing stable-mate Jerome D’Ambrosio. He did manage to secure a personal sponsor for GP2 this year in Mercuria, a Swiss energy company, who could prove valuble in negotiations with all teams.
Whatever happens, Romain has proven that he is the class of the GP2 field, and that he fully deserves a place at the top level of the sport.