Romain Grosjean has admitted he will not hold a grudge against Haas team principle Gunther Steiner after he was slated by the 53-year-old Italian for his early season form in the Netflix Formula 1 documentary.
The ‘F1: Drive to Survive’ series arrived on Netflix last week, and one of the primary talking points to emerge from its early stages was Steiner’s scathing review of Grosjean’s form at the beginning of last season.
Grosjean didn’t score a point until the Austrian Grand Prix in 2018 and Steiner can be seen swearing at the French driver on the pitwall during the documentary, as well as insulting the 32-year-old at a team dinner after his home race, where Grosjean was not present.
“Romain is not here,” said Steiner at the event per Motorsport.
“Maybe he is not here because he doesn’t have any points. Or maybe I didn’t invite him because he doesn’t deserve any food.”
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Despite Steiner’s derogatory comments, Grosjean revealed he isn’t angry with his boss and agrees that his early form in 2018 was unacceptable.
“I know Gunther, and he’s calling a cat a cat,” he responded.
“So that’s fine by me. We’ve had discussions and we’ve never lied to each other. He always tells the truth and that’s something I appreciate.
“Honestly, if you are telling me to judge the first half of the season myself, I would have been negative. So fine by me.
However, the 32-year-old had a warning for Steiner:
“I think I changed the direction of the boat in the second part, and hopefully he did say some nice things in the second part. I didn’t hear him, but hopefully. If not, I’ll just f****** get him!”
Grosjean’s litany of errors before the summer break of 2018 included a crash behind the safety car in Azerbaijan, spinning into the pack in Spain, collisions in qualifying and the race at his home GP, and further prangs with his teammate Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz Jnr at Silverstone.
He scored the team’s best result of the year in Austria with a fourth-placed finish though, having out-qualified Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
But Grosjean frustrated much more than he impressed in 2018 and was given a two-point penalty for repeatedly ignoring blue flags in Singapore and another collision with Leclerc in Austin left him perilously close to a race ban.
He was then disqualified from the Italian Grand Prix after the floor of his car was deemed to be illegal taking away a solid drive and 6th place finish.
The Frenchman finished the season 14th in the driver standings with 37 points and will look for more consistency in his upcoming campaign which kicks off on Sunday at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.