PARIS, France - French Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has promised to repay the Lotus team's faith in him by cutting out the reckless mistakes that cast a shadow over a largely successful 2012 season.
TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF? Romain Grosjean believes he must remove his reckless streak if he is to live up to his potential.
Lotus finished an impressive fourth in the Constructors' championship thanks to ex-World champion Kimi Raikkonen putting in some impressive performances. The team has signed 26-year-old Swiss Grosjean for the 2013 campaign.
However, he revealed he had had some sleepless nights after the curtain came down on the season in Brazil and talks went on over his future to the extent he feared that the race had been his last in F1.
"There were some tough moments, some sleepless nights," said Grosjean, who made his F1 debut in 2009 when he raced seven times for Renault before a three-year hiatus prior to driving for Lotus. "I had a lot of discussions with the team's owners; they were constructive and allowed us to make progress. Today I am happy to have their confidence, to be able to carry on with them, and I am really going to try to create something special."
Grosjean, who recorded three podium finishes in 2012 to finish a respectable eighth in the championship with 96 points, accepted, though, that he had to erase the wild charges he made from the grid and which earned him not only a suspension but also angered several of his rivals.
The most notable and perhaps costly one was at the beginning of the Belgian GP which claimed among its victims Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who was to go on and finish second in the World championship, three points behind Sebastian Vettel.
Grosjean's recklessness in that collision resulted in a one-race suspension; lesson unlearned, he took Australian Mark Webber out of the Japanese GP at the start although this time he escaped censure.
"There are lots of things I am trying to improve because I am no longer a rookie, I no longer have the right to make clearly stupid mistakes, which were 100% my fault. I want to be more consistent while remaining as quick as before."
Grosjean said his ambitions matched those of Lotus. "My ability to drive fast weighed in my favour for being retained, the talks as well, and the fact that we (he and Lotus) both are hungry to be world champions together.
"If we sort out some concerns, we will succeed."
He was delighted, though, that being re-signed by Lotus let him put off his ambition to open a restaurant.
"I don't know whether I would have, if I had been let go, thrown myself immediately into opening a restaurant," he said. "I had already looked elsewhere to continue what I do best, driving a car, but the idea is still in my head."
Watch Romain Grosjean's Spa 2012 GP crash here.