Romain Grosjean

#8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus F1 Team

Date of Birth: 17/04/1986 | Nationality: French | Twitter: @RGrosjean

Grosjean had a strong reputation in junior formula and duly stepped up to Formula One in 2009 as a mid-season replacement for Nelson Piquet Jr at Renault. Grosjean could not have joined the team at a worse time as the lack of testing, a woeful car and the Crashgate scandal left the team in turmoil and the Frenchman failed to score a point during his seven race stint.

At a career crossroads, Grosjean dabbled in GT Racing in 2010 before returning to single seaters. He won the AutoGP championship and made a return to GP2. In 2011, he starred in GP2 but came under pressure for triggering a few errors. He cut those out and eased to the title.

For 2012 he returned to Renault - albeit now under the Lotus guise - alongside Kimi Raikkonen. His speed was evident from the outset but a series of first corner collisions marred his season. He caused a dramatic accident at the first corner in Belgium and was subsequently banned for Italy and upon his return he made another error in Japan, a result that left him in tears.

He impressed with his pace, but his tendency for trouble left some questioning Lotus's decision to retain him for 2013, despite claiming three podium finishes.

His 2013 season began in quiet fashion as he struggled with a mysterious car problem. A messy weekend in Monaco - in which he crashed four times - left some questioning his mental state but from the middle of the season, he emerged as a top line driver.

He claimed five podiums and impressed with mature drives, especially in Japan and USA, and earned the respect of fellow drivers who had seen him as a liability just a year before. He finished in seventh place in the championship and was one of few drivers to present a challenge to the dominance of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull across the second half of 2013.