Nancy Knapp Schilke
Grosjean follows up his Asian GP2 title with the main series championship
Romain Grosjean and the DAMS team wrapped up the 2011 GP2 Main Series championship before the end of the season. The Frenchman had a sizzling start in the Feature race on Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to move from seventh to third. That feat was amazing in itself but the champion of the 2010-11 Asian GP2 Series along with the DAMS team knows what it takes and they go for it. The new champion earned his ninth podium this season and there are three races remaining.
Finally! It’s just fantastic!
“I want to say that at the beginning of the season, my management did not tell me to win the Series. I’m a bit older than some of the drivers and I have more experience so my personal goal was to grab the title. But I knew also that I wanted to push Dams and help them to get back at the top. What they were missing when we started working together is not missing anymore. And I think they are the strongest team of the Series this season. I am proud of what we have accomplished. I wanted this title very much because it was missing in my career. Now it’s in the pocket. It’s an amazing feeling,” smiled Grosjean.
Grosjean now has six championship titles with three of them in GP2: Two in the Asian series and now the one in the main series. “Finally! It’s just fantastic!” smiled Grosjean on earning his first main series championship.
Usually the fight for the championship goes down to the final race but Grosjean has been the dominant racer this season with five wins already. By no means was it an easy one as the competition was very close and yet Grosjean always seemed to get the job done. It was not a perfect season with one disqualification and one retirement.
“We’ve had a really hard season with such a high level of drivers and teams. I think that professionally and personally, this has been a very important season. The team Dams has been really open-minded to listen to me and my suggestions. They worked really hard. They work very hard I can tell you. We made some mistakes. Sometime they made them, other times I made them. That’s normal in a season,” he said.
As to his first attempt in Formula One, he said: “I think my career has been smooth until 2009. Everything was perfect. I was always in the right team, at the right place and at the right time. I went to Formula One then and unfortunately it was at the wrong time, in the wrong place. But it has been important in my career and has definitely helped me get stronger. I realised after that I had a life outside Formula One. It has truly helped me enjoy the life in the paddock as well. Everyone can see that I’m smiling more.”
Will he return to Formula One? “I want to go back to Formula One, of course, but at the moment nothing has been decided,” explained Grosjean. “My management, LRGP or the team Dams have been intelligent because they knew that in 2009 after the third race of the season, I was only thinking about F1. This year, I did not want to make the same mistake so I kept my focus on GP2 exclusively. I have been to the F1 paddock as little as possible to focus here. Now that we are champions, I will have a look at what is going on upstairs, but at the moment, my main concern is to find a good contract for 2012 and nothing else. At least we still have a few months to think about it. Hopefully I can get a good seat in good conditions.”