Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean Says He Complains to Improve His Team

The French driver defended his position and says he does much more than grumble.

Romain Grosjean is a hoot. The Frenchman’s colorful and sometimes-puzzling attitude has lead to plenty of criticism from his peers, but according to him, it’s all in good spirit. While he often catches flack for his gripes, Grosjean recently validated himself ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix by saying that he only complains in order “for the team to get better.”

The 32-year-old’s employer, Haas F1, started 2018 with loads of pace that dazed its larger, more generously funded competitors. A mix of pit troubles and the notorious “Holy Trinity” have made it difficult for the team to fight for anything better than midfield mediocrity, but even yet, Grosjean remains positive—even if you can’t tell it from the press.  

“It hurts when fans say, ‘Grosjean complains all the time,'” Grosjean told the Danish Ekstra Bladet newspaper. “My radio is just used (on television) all the time.”

“I don’t only complain, and if I do, it’s for the team to get better. You don’t think about it when you’re in the car. You’re just working.”

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In light of that, Grosjean has had reason to be critical in 2018. Stupifying woes in Australia cited to faulted pit stops led to both him and his teammate Kevin Magnussen retiring early, and in the two following races, his car placed in the bottom half of the field. News of Grosjean comforting a member of his pit crew after the Melbourne incident shed positivity on the situation and he hopes to keep that same mindset heading into Baku.

Speaking of what he and his team will do differently at Azerbaijan and beyond, Grosjean claimed that they hope to find speed in the feel of his VF-18 racer. That, he believes, can give him the competitive edge over his teammate Magnussen.

“We’re working to give me a little more feeling with the front end. Sometimes it’s just the feeling that makes you faster than your teammate at the highest level of the sport.”