The French RDD driver was crowned F3 Euroseries 2007 Champion in Hockenheim today.
With six wins, four pole positions, six podiums and seven best lap times this season Romain Grosjean added his name to the list of winners of one of the most prestigious European Championships.
Romain Grosjean, European Champion. How does that sound?
It sounds pretty great! I'm really proud because it hasn't been easy to win. I have fought at every race. Some have been harder than others, but in the end winning this title is all that matters. And the icing on the cake: I have won more races than any other drivers this season.
You are the first Frenchman to win this title since Alain Prost. Is that important to you?
It is an honour. Alain Prost is one of the greatest drivers of the history with four world titles in Formula 1. If I could achieve the same kind of career, it would be a dream come true! But, I know that the road ahead is still long and I want to go one step at a time in order to gain more experience.
You snatched the crown today after the second-to-last race of the season. You started in pole position and finished second. Can you tell us a little bit about this race in Hockenheim?
I was in pole while Buemi was in fifth place. I didn't want to risk anything so I made a careful start. Nico started a little bit better. After that, I was really fast, but I could never overtake Hulkenberg. I tried once, but we almost touched. So I chose to stay behind: it was more important to win the title than to win the race!
What were the highlights of your season?
The pole position followed by a win in Mugello, Italy: it was my first pole position in F3 Euroseries and I finished with a 16 second gap in front of the second driver! Also, I loved winning two weeks ago in Nogaro in front of the French crowd. And then, of course, winning the title today in Hockenheim!
When did you realise that you had a real chance to win the crown?
I had one sole objective this year: the title. Even before the beginning of the season, I knew I had the opportunity to do so. I was placed in the best team, ASM: they won the last four championships and they proved once again that they were the best team of this championship. I really appreciated working with my engineer, Theo. I believe this was one of the keys to my success. At the same time, I have the chance to be in the RDD Programme: with them I improved physically and mentally. This helped me cope with the pressure better.
What can you tell us about your fight with Buemi?
It was one of the most intense of my career. He is an excellent driver and a true competitor. He never gives up. We never really had the chance to fight on the track, but we always were close in the drivers' classification. It makes winning this title all the more significant.
Have you had any doubts?
I'm not sure that the correct word is "doubt", but there were times when I wasn't sure I would win the championship: sometimes, I was out of luck such as when I was pushed out of the track in Race 2 in Norisring or when my engine broke down in Barcelona. But, each time, I fought back on the track in order to have no regret at the end of the season. Therefore, if I sometimes asked myself whether I could achieve my goal, once I got in my car, I stopped questioning it.
What is your best memory?
Today! It is the most important title I have ever won. I have been working for this ever since the beginning of my career in motorsport. I haven't truly realized what it means yet, but I want to enjoy this moment, especially since it has been so hard to obtain. Tomorrow, I want to fight for the win and therefore finish this beautiful season the best way I know how!