Romain Grosjean insists that he is a better driver than the one that caused a first lap pile-up at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix.
The Frenchman received a one-race ban for his part in the accident at La Source that eliminated title contenders Fernando Alonso
and Lewis Hamilton
– inadvertently helping to open up the championship battle that eventually went the way of Sebastian Vettel, who finished second in Belgium – but was retained by the Lotus team for 2013, allowing him to return to the scene of his 'crime'.
“I think I've progressed a lot and worked on that,” Grosjean insisted ahead of the Spa-Francorchamps weekend, “I think the 2013 [race] starts prove that I did my duties.
“When every eye is on you, it's easier for the others to play with that, but I'm here today to give my best, trying to win races. [It's] what I've been trying to do in the last two grands prix and it's getting closer and closer, which is good. I'll keep pushing and trying to do my best in every circumstance. I'll keep progressing, keep working and keep doing the same things - and I'll keep doing clean starts.”
Grosjean's words are not empty ones either, despite a nightmare weekend in Monaco that saw him crash three times in as many days, and the Lotus driver has racked up 23 points in the last two grand prix to move into eighth place in the overall standings.
“We've had a decent run since Bahrain, where we found out what I didn't like on the car at the start of the season,” he explained, “At Silverstone, we had a little bad luck, [and] I had a bad Monaco - that was myself - but then I think I was getting better and better and we had fights for victory in the last two races, which is always good. The car was performing well in quali and the race, so I'm happy with that, happy with the progress we are doing and the updates that being brought by the team. I'm just trying to do my best and giving 100 per cent every time.”
Despite the birth of his first child diverting his attention during the summer break, however, Grosjean insists that he will not be deflected from his new-found concentration behind the wheel.
“It feels like good entertainment, the best thing ever in the world, [but] I think I have a different mind from the past,” he claimed, “I have been trying to progress a lot. It may not change lap times, but I'm still trying to improve myself.”