After the boxing stop fiasco in Australia, Romain Grosjean had to put his arm around his mechanics comfortably. But in the meantime, the hand has turned. The 32-year-old himself is the one who is heavily criticized.
First he made the crash behind the safety car in Azerbaijan, and then he stepped on the gas in the first corner of Spain instead of getting the drift und er control with the brake pedal. Prompt drove across the track and cleared Nico Hullkenberg and Pierre Gasly.
Especially Hullkenberg was not a good speaker: Mr Grosjean simply needs to drink some target water. He turns eight times at the weekend and is really unpredictable on the track.”
Teamwork Magnussen pulls by
Eternal Nozzling on the boxing radio, avoidable errors on the track, in terms of speed suddenly behind Kevin Magnussen, whom he still had 2017 in hand: Many experts wonder what is going on with Grosjean. And some want to recognize old patterns from his stormy Lotus era.
Grosjean was the reason the FIA introduced the penalty points at that time, and after the initial collision he caused in Belgium 2012 he was blocked for the following Grand Prix from Italy.
“Funnily enough he got rid of it”, our expert Marc Surer wonders and expresses a suspicion: “There is this tunnel view. I mean that negatively. When people get stressed, the wide angle narrows and you lose track. This was the case with Grosjean in the beginning period.”
He was so stressed, especially after the start, that he always fucked up because he just lacked the overview. A good racing driver has wide angles. If he was driving on the road, he would see the pedestrian on the left and on the right the car that goes to the stop road. At the same time.”
Exactly this was one of the great qualities of Michael Schumacher: While others had trouble keeping their car on track during the most difficult rain races, the seven-time World Champion still had the ability to watch on the video wall what his opponents were doing, and to talk about it with the command stand.
Surer understands how difficult this is: “I drove the Formula One double seat 2017. I wouldn’t have a chance to keep an eye on an opponent today, either in the rear-view mirror or in front of me, because I need all the energy to look at the track. It seems to me, if something goes wrong with Grosjean, he’s going to come right into this tunnel view. And by that I mean a limited view.”
“Grosjean loses the overview under pressure”
“Up to now he has mostly had his teammates under control. Whenever he made a good round, he was faster,”Surer plays on the direct comparison with Kevin Magnussen. Grosjean won against the Danes after points with 28:19 or Qualifyings with 12:8.
“Before that Kimi was his teammate. If you lose to Kimi, it’s not so bad, and most of the time, he even hit him. At least in training, less in racing,”says Surer. And now here comes someone to challenge his rank. I think that’s why he’s falling back into his weakness, that he’s losing it under pressure. Maybe the car is also difficult to drive. Okay? But I think he puts so much pressure on himself that he falls into this tunnel view.”
This pressure is partly a homemade problem. Grosjean has repeatedly positioned himself with Ferrari, although a serious interest of Scuderia was never documented at any time. At the end of 2018, the contract of Kimi Reiikkunen (once again) expires. In Grosjean’s mind, this could be the last chance to pick up a Ferrari cockpit.
Does hope for Ferrari paralyse?
“He knows that if it doesn’t work next year, it’ll never work,” surer assumes. “Does hope for Ferrari paralyse?” A Perez knows that. There are some who hope. And you notice that they don’t necessarily drive better. But there are drivers who get better under pressure. These are the real champions. For Grosjean, the opposite is obviously the case.”
“He also had his problems last year. Think of the eternal departure with the brakes. It can’t be true that the brakes are always switched back and forth for you while the teammate drives without any problems! At some point you have to learn to deal with it.”
“But at least he was there even faster. Now, however, this magnet has increased and is strong in both qualifying and racing. That’s when Grosjean starts getting stressed. And stress makes this tunnel view for me,”emphasizes the former Formula One pilot from Switzerland.
The team leader presents himself to his driver
Team leader Gunther Steiner, however, protects Grosjean – at least externally:”In every athletic career there are heights and depths. Romain’s a good driver. He’ll get back to where he belongs, and now Monte Carlo, where he’s always been quick. I’m sure he can’t expect to silence the eternal fools.”
Indes makes a joke in the current issue of the Formula One podcast”Starting Grid”. What is more likely: that Grosjean will clear half the field at the start and benefit Magnussen or that Williams will go on the podium? ORF commentator Ernst Hausleitner, among others, commented on this. Now in our radio player or via iTunes subscription for the next longer car ride.
“In sports you have to endure this,” Steiner finds. “In sports you have to endure this.” If something goes wrong, you’ll come back stronger. That’s all you have left anyway. We’re not even a quarter past the season. No need to panic! With a car like this, all he has to know is, “A weekend without problems, I’m already in the front.” A professional can do that. And Romain is a pro.”