Romain Grosjean feels given the unbalanced competition in Formula 1 it can askew a fair reflection of results as he assesses his record in the sport.

With 164 F1 race starts and 10 podium finishes to his name, Romain Grosjean goes into the 2020 season as one of the most experienced drivers on the grid. But the French driver has not appeared on the F1 rostrum since the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix, during his final year at Lotus, as he joined Haas on its debut in the championship back in 2016.

Despite an impressive junior career, winning the 2007 Formula 3 Euro Series and 2011 GP2 Series title, Grosjean has never won a F1 Grand Prix and while it looks unlikely to change he knows he can never rule out the possibility.

“It could happen,” Grosjean said. “I mean, I was already lucky to be 10 times on the podium, I should have won I believe two grands prix, things didn’t come my way.”

While he holds on to hope of returning to the F1 rostrum, Grosjean acknowledges the odds are stacked against him given the current situation in the sport and the large performance disparity between the top three teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – and the rest. It has led to the 33-year-old giving a frank assessment of F1 and how it is too dependent on car performance over driver input.

“I think we call Formula 1 a sport. Is it a sport? I am not so sure. It’s a show. A sport is supposed to be fair and Formula 1 is not fair,” he explained during pre-season testing. “It’s very physical to drive a Formula 1 car, I’ve done 160 laps and I’ll do more [Grosjean finished the first pre-season test with 206 laps completed] and I will probably be in pieces for a few days.

“It’s hard, it’s demanding, a lot of effort going from everyone, but it’s like asking Roger Federer to go to Roland Garros with a ping pong racket – he won’t stand a chance. And would you call tennis a sport if they weren’t coming always the same rackets, or if the court was wider one side than it would be on the other. You judge it.

“It could happen I won’t win a grand prix. I will do my best to get some opportunity in the future.

“But look at Daniel Ricciardo, if you only take his time at Renault he hasn’t even scored a podium but he’s been winning races, is a great driver, and he’s been on the podium, it all depends what you’ve got between your hands.”

Grosjean’s current Haas contract expires at the end of the season and while he remains motivated to stay in F1 he will make a call on the future after the summer break.

“There are obviously a lot of drivers out of contract at the end of the year, there could be drivers also retiring,” he said. “I think that’s a decision that comes, I believe for me, it will come quite quickly.

“If I see maybe half a season or three-quarters of a season if I see I don’t have the passion anymore, I don’t really want to be travelling the world and being far from my family, then I could see me retiring and going somewhere else.

“It could happen to other drivers. There could be other opportunities.”

To reduce the performance gap between F1 teams, a cost cap is set to be installed which will limit team spending to $175m per season but with certain exclusions to the cap including driver salaries and marketing spend.