Romain Grosjean’s former race engineer, Ayao Komatsu says that few drivers have as much natural speed as the Frenchman.
Grosjean’s time in F1 looks to be at an end, with Haas dropping him and team-mate at the end of the 2020 season.
In his 10 seasons on the grid, he scored 10 podiums and 391 points, but Komatsu, who worked with him at Haas and Lotus, thinks he had the natural pace and talent to achieve much more.
“Everybody recognises his natural speed, everybody recognises his lack of consistency and the lack of progress he is able to make because of sometimes the emotional side of things,” Komatsu told The Race.
“It’s a shame, somebody who has got such a natural talent – and not many drivers have such natural speed – not able to accomplish more results.
“Romain has done 10 seasons in F1. Not many people race that long and with all his problems, you could have said that Romain’s career could have been over five years ago.
“But because he’s got such speed and the potential and he produces the result when not many other people can, he survived this long.”
While he was immensely fast on his day, Grosjean made a number of mistakes that damaged both his results and his reputation.
Komatsu thinks that these came as a result of the Frenchman getting the hang of his car so quickly and then pushing too hard in his desire to put together the perfect lap.
“Romain, because he’s so natural and he’s got speed in him, gets there straight away,” he added.
“He doesn’t need many laps to get there, but once he gets there, Romain tries to find another extra tenth or half a tenth. He then sometimes overdrives and actually doesn’t go quicker, or makes more mistakes.
“If he can then take a bit more margin or take a step-by-step approach and improve consistency, he would have scored many more points.
“He is so talented naturally, but I guess it’s difficult because he’s got the ability to push straight away to that level. If you take that away and make him more consistent, maybe his natural speed drops, so maybe you can’t have it both ways.”