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F1 Driver of the Year 2015 - 10th: Romain Grosjean

We begin our 2015 F1 Driver of the Year countdown, as voted for by you - kicking things off is a driver who reminded the paddock of his talent in one particular race
F1 Driver of the Year 2015: 10th

10th – Romain Grosjean
Average poll score out of ten: 6.1
Team: Lotus F1 Team
Car: Lotus – Mercedes E23
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Best Finish 3rd
Championship points: 51
Championship position: 11th out of 21

If the beginning of Romain Grosjean's 2015 season was about missing opportunities, then the latter half was very much him maximising the promising but unfulfilled Lotus E23 package.

On the back of a dismal season 2014 campaign at the wheel of the unusual dual-prong nosed E22, which was unbalanced to drive even before it was coupled to the underpowered and unreliable Renault power unit, Lotus went back-to-basics to a degree of success in 2015.

With a tidy, if not revolutionary design, and the favourable Mercedes engine bolted on, the E23 was swift out of the box, proving well-sorted and reliable despite missing the first stages of pre-season testing, but a series of misfortune would see it fail to capitalise on its best chances initially.

Though Grosjean returned to prominence with a trio of top ten finishes in China, Bahrain and Spain, the E23's development was already trailing as rapidly dwindling funds kept the potential of the car very much on a plateau for much of the year.

Whether it was Jolyon Palmer coming in to assuming FP1 duties in place of Grosjean, the team being locked out of its hospitality in Japan or having its trucks impounded at Spa over a contractual dispute with former driver Charles Pic, Lotus – and Grosjean – suffered numerous setbacks and compromises.

Which is why Grosjean's magnificent – and entirely merited - charge to the podium in Belgium ranks up there with the 'drive of the year' as he revealed exactly what could be possible with the right resource behind him.

Headline results thereafter weren't so easy to come by, the will-they-won't-they saga of Renault's impending deal consuming most Lotus-related airtime, but Grosjean kept plugging away amidst the uncertainty, his status as one of the more underrated drivers in F1 typified by impressive drives from uncompromising positions.

Indeed, Grosjean arguably produced some of his best drives in less obvious circumstances, his drive from the back of the grid in Abu Dhabi to ninth on his Lotus swansong both poignant and fitting.

A timely reminder that Grosjean used to be a regular podium contender, Lotus may have dwindled but the 29 year-old showed his talent enough times in 2015, to beg the question of why his options for next year remained fairly slim.

His move to Haas is a great deal for the American team and though it remains to be seen if it is mutually beneficial for him, the mature and eye-catching 2015 campaign deserves credit.

Romain Grosjean in the Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2014: 16th
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2013: 5th
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2012: 18th

Do you agree with the poll results? Have your say in the comments section below...

About the vote:
Rather than repeat the Drivers' World Championship standings, the F1 Driver of the Year poll asks viewers to take into account factors such as machinery, performance relative to a team-mate, driving style, experience, injuries, progress and personality just as much as race results.

Over 120,000 votes were cast for the 2015 Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year poll, where viewers awarded each of this year's full-time participants.


Tagged as: Romain Grosjean , Lotus

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
29.11.2015 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23
Haas F1 livery updated Monaco GP
14.05.2017 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17.
14.05.2017.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17.
14.05.2017.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17.
14.05.2017.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17.
14.05.2017.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17.
14.05.2017.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17.
14.05.2017.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17.
14.05.2017.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team.
14.05.2017.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team with his wife Marion Jolles Grosjean (FRA) TF1 TV Presenter.
14.05.2017.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team 
14.05.2017.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team 
14.05.2017.
13.05.2017 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
13.05.2017 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
13.05.2017 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17.
13.05.2017.

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CrazyHorse23

December 14, 2015 11:01 AM

Grosjean has matured into a really quick, smooth and reliable driver. He seems to be respected among the 'older' pros now for those reasons. I would not be at all surprised next year if he is regularly scoring points for Haas and even grabs a podium again. Haas has so much Ferrari machinery and one of the best wind tunnels in the world, they can't fail to bring half-decent aero. Plus, they know how to run a winning team. I think the Grosjean/Haas combination will surprise a few people - including Ferrari! (Gutierrez - not so much)

JimG

December 15, 2015 2:26 AM

I think that Grosjean will be a definite benefit to the new Haas team next year. I think he did pretty good with a car that had next to no development done on it during this past season due to severe money shortages. And he didn't make loads of mistakes driving either, which shows his maturity as a driver now. Hopefully the Haas cars will be more competitive for him next year as compared to the underfunded Lotus team this year.



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