Romain Grosjean: 2013 Biggest Surprise of the Year 22 December, 2013 Romain Grosjean very nearly snatched the Grand Prix 247 Driver of the Year for 2013 award…but in the end he fell a tad short. He nevertheless gets our recognition with our Biggest Surprise of the year accolade. Grosjean was the guy who a year earlier was dubbed the ‘first lap nutcase’ (by a certain Australian ex F1 driver) the guy who triggered some of the hairiest and most dramatic pile-ups in recent memory, the guy whom Lotus nearly did not sign for 2013 because of his on-track shenanigans. Roll on the new year and it was all change, as Grosjean employed a sports quack to help him up his game and stay out of trouble, which he did with great effect. On sheer pace he was quicker than his highly regarded teammate Kimi Raikkonen but he lacked the race craft of the Iceman early on, The experience gulf between the two is enormous and statistics will show that he had closed the gap by the timi Raikkonen had departed… Grosjean really came of age when Raikkonen’s move to Ferrari for 2014 was announced. The Frenchman seized the moment and by the end of the season his detractors were far fewer in number; even his colleagues had new found respect him. Mark Webber was Grosjean’s biggest critic in 2012, but less than a year later the straight talking Aussie was full of praise for the Lotus driver. “I think it’s very clear that Romain has a very different mental approach to the job at the moment … ,” he said. “He’s driven some quite strong races, putting together the whole weekend which is a sign of a driver starting to get a bit more relaxed and confident. A lot fewer mistakes, not just in races but in practice.” “You know, we’re not here to blow smoke up his arse but in the end he’s doing a very good job this year and it’s a big step for him…” added Webber. World Champion Sebastian Vettel was also impressed, “I think Romain did a great job, great performance all weekend [in Japan] I think, great qualifying yesterday again, out qualified Kimi. We know that Kimi is a strong driver. Last year I think Romain made some mistakes but the most important thing is that we learn from these mistakes as drivers so I think he learned a lot of things and gradually he’s improving, so big respect for that.” Seldom do Formula 1 drivers speak so highly of a rival. It is thus obvious that the ‘nutcase’ has earned the respect of his peers. Take a bow Romain Grosjean for pleasantly surprising us all in 2013! Subbed by AJN. Romain Grosjean on the podium with Austin race winner Sebastian Vettel Romain Grosjean celebrates second place with Eric Boullier in Japan Romain Grosjean showers Sebastian Vettel Romain Grosjean wears a stetson in the post race press conference Romain Grosjean finished third in Japan Romain Grosjean with Kimi Raikkonen Romain Grosjean during the post-qualifying press conference Second placed Romain Grosjean celebrates on the podium. Romain Grosjean Eric Boullier with Romain Grosjean Romain Grosjean during the 2013 Singapore GP weekend Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen after the German GP Romain Grosjean will start from third on the grid Romain Grosjean is positive ahead of the Italian GP weekend Romain Grosjean with broken front wing in Monaco Romain Grosjean has enjoyed success at Nurburgring Romain Grosjean has another chance with Lotus in 2014 Romain Grosjean still seeking his first win in F1 Romain Grosjean with fellow F1 drivers at the autograph session in India Romain Grosjean was best of the rest Romain Grosjean in the wars again Related NewsLotus upbeat as they head to SilverstoneLotus PR chief fired over gay tweetGastaldi: We have potential still to be fulfilledGastaldi: It’s been a tough, tough start to the yearLotus: We’ll get the best out of PastorLotus get new fuel boost for MonacoLotus hit back after Renault late payment claimsBoullier: After Silverstone we may go more radicalHaas not interested in buying LotusHaas visit to Lotus may be prelude to Enstone buyout O’Ferrari Smashes kimi in the second hald of the season. In fact, I believe he outscored everyone except vettel in the second half of the season. Welk done. Zombie Jebus will eat your brain and take your knowledge Grosjean would have been one of my finalists for Driver of the Year and probably would have scored runner up… the biggest surprise of the year is Luca swallowing his pride and hiring a driver he sacked! And then Alonso’s nervous replies have done nothing to assure me his attitudes towards strong teamies has changed since Mclaren! StevetheGreat The biggest surprise was Merc and Lewis being proved correct for leaving Mclaren. matthew Crashtor coming in dead last besides the backmarkers was a surp….. BAHAHAHA Im sorry, I couldn’t even complete that! Badman Jose matthew, What???? Noise Jose Muhammad Ansib Zia he did close the gap to Kimi but even though Kimi didn’t participate in the final 2 races of 2013, he still is ahead in points from Romain. that’s where champions differ from the remaining drivers, their ability to score consistently and over a season, Not in a few races. but still Romain did an amazing job.