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GP2 champ Grosjean focused on 2012

Romain Grosjean claims that his F1 focus is firmly on next season, despite being linked to a Renault ride in 2011.

New GP2 Series champion Romain Grosjean insists that, while wanting to return to F1, his priority will be to tie down a deal for the 2012 season, rather than looking to break back into the top flight this year.

The French driver, who clinched the title one round from the end of the campaign, at Spa on Saturday, has been linked to a possible return to the Renault team for the final races of 2011. Team boss Eric Boullier is not only a fan of Grosjean's, but also involved in the management of his career via the Gravity offshoot of Renault owner Genii Capital, and has been asked regularly whether he intended to promote the Frenchman once he had clinched the GP2 crown.

The waters at Renault have been further muddied by the sacking of Nick Heidfeld, which resulted in Bruno Senna being promoted from the team's extensive reserve corps for Spa, but did little to quell suggestions that Grosjean may make an appearance in black-and-gold during the end-of-year 'flyaways'.

However, the seasoned GP2 competitor, who endured a tough half-season in the top flight following Nelson Piquet Jr's acrimonious departure in 2009 and has returned to the F1 threshold via sportscars and the 2010 AutoGP title, insists that he is not pinning his hopes on a return this year.

"I want to go back to F1, of course, but, at the moment, nothing has been decided," he claimed, "My management, LRGP and 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."

Many observers felt that Grosjean had little to gain by returning to GP2, but he admitted that, while under no pressure from Gravity to win the title, he wanted to prove that he was able to propel the DAMS team to the front of the field as well as taking the crown.

"I want to say that, at the beginning of the season, my management did not tell me to win the series," he pointed out, "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 my pocket, it's an amazing feeling.

"If you watch the results from last season, Barwa Addax, ART and iSport were stronger than DAMS but, this year, with the new car and the new Pirelli tyres, we worked very hard. I have to say that we were completely lost in Abu Dhabi, when the GP2 Asia season opened at the beginning of the year. Everyone thought we were hiding our true potential when we were P22 in the last test session before the season started. And then, we realised that we needed to just keep working and start again from the beginning and we took pole position. And then the car started to work again. We were strong contenders, but we were also a team that needed to prove that they were able to get back to the top, as they were a few years ago."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
28.08.2011- Race, Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
27.08.2011- Qualifying, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) on track at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his fifth feature race win of the 2011 season at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) at the Nurburgring on Frday, July 22 2011. [Picture credit: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams). [Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
26.03.2017 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17 retires from the race
26.03.2017 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
26.03.2017 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
26.03.2017 - Race, Start of the race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
26.03.2017 - (L-R) Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director and Ross Brawn (GBR) Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports
26.03.2017 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
26.03.2017 - Carlos Sainz (ESP) WRC Champion former
26.03.2017 - Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
25.03.2017 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17 and Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director

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