“Some of it is a bit made up” - Grosjean on Netflix's impact on fans' opinions

Former Haas driver Romain Grosjean has spoken about the impact Netflix F1 documentary Drive to Survive has had on his own perception in the United States.
Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean

Grosjean retired from F1 at the end of 2020 following two disappointing years at Haas.

His F1 career was cut short by two races after a dramatic fireball crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix which left him recovering from severe burns on his hands.

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Since then, Grosjean has forged a strong career in the US, driving in IndyCar.

Reflecting on the impact of Drive to Survive in the US, Grosjean admitted that “some of it is a bit made up” and that fans’ perception of Grosjean is focused on his high-profile accident, rather than the highs he enjoyed during his early career with Lotus.

“Netflix chooses, a little bit, the angle they want to attack every team,” he told GQ. “And some of it is true, some of it is a bit made up. But yeah, the last two years were - they were long years.

"The way I'm known, especially in the U.S., it's through that accident because a lot of the U.S. audience is very new to F1 and came through Drive to Survive. The way I see my career is a bit more than that. It's 180 grands prix, 10 podiums, the best finishing position Haas has ever had in Austria. So yeah, the crash is definitely part of my career, part of my life. 

“And I've got the scar from my left hand that's going to be here forever. So it's a good reminder that's here, but it's just not that. It's a bit more than that. And I see it as just part of my journey, like any podium. It's just something crazy, but turned out to be good.”

 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team
- Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team

Despite not many new fans being aware of Grosjean’s moderate success in F1, the Frenchman says he doesn’t care as the accident did play a big role in his post-F1 life.

"No, I don't care. It’s part of my career; it's part of my life,” he added. “Especially in the U.S., because the audience is very new to F1 a lot of people remember that accident, and they have never seen my podiums back in 2012 and 2013. 

“I almost won three races in Formula 1, and it never really happened for outside reasons. But it's quite funny. I met some people that know of me since the Lotus days in Formula 1 and say they've been watching it all. And I watch a lot of younger people, younger audience, they have only seen Drive to Survive on Netflix. So they talk about Guenther Steiner and ask how he is in real life, and of course the accident.  

"But I think the accident, it's one of those things that kind of marked the world. It was pretty much on every TV you could switch on. It was very impressive. That’s the way I see that: “phoenix.” It's the rise from something bad. It's not necessarily related to the fire, but it's how you can rise from something that could destroy you but use it in a positive way and rise from there."

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