Romain Grosjean spent a long time pondering his future after his run in Formula 1 came to an end. For all it was worth, he was happy that he could use this time to build relationships.
In a sport as competitive as F1, where you indeed compete against your teammate as well, Grosjean feels that he missed out on the essence of building friendships.
The cut-throat nature of the industry means everyone has to be on their toes and you can never get too comfortable where you are. Drivers pay emphasis to their skills, constantly on the lookout to enhance their credentials, both in the eyes of their current team and for potential recruiters.
The result is very simple, at least according to Grosjean. Friendship comes at a premium as business takes precedence.
However, Grosjean believes this changes the moment you decide to quit the sport and it is indeed a silver lining.
“Once you stop and you’re out of the circus, then you become friends with the guys.
“You share the same passion, you’ve shared the same travel, you share the same moment. So obviously you’re going to be friends. But when you compete with someone and you want his seat, that’s when a boundary over one’s friendship arises.
“I’m getting on very well with Sebastian Vettel. I have got huge respect for him and I know we are going to be friends.
“But when he was at Ferrari, what do you want to do? Get his seat. It’s hard to be a friend.
“If it’s a friend and Ferrari calls you, your going to call your friend and say, ‘be careful, they called me so they want you out.’ But it doesn’t work that way.
“It’s a huge respect when you are into it (F1). And whenever it’s over, you can be really good friends,” the 181-race veteran said.
Grosjean will be keen to impress in IndyCar after seeing out an F1 career where he could never truly do justice to his ability.
Following his horrific crash, many well-wishers will be pleased to see him out on the track again. Perhaps he may even get a call up to be a reserve driver some time soon, the way Nico Hulkenberg has done at Aston Martin.