French Formula One driver Romain Grosjean said that he would repay the Lotus team's faith in him by cutting out the reckless mistakes that cast a shadow over a largely successful season for him in 2012.
Lotus, who finished an impressive fourth in the constructors championship as the duo of former world champion Kimi Raikkonen racked up some impressive performances, signed up the 26-year-old Swiss born driver for the 2013 campaign on Monday.
However, Grosjean revealed that he had had some sleepless nights after the curtain came down on the season in Brazil last month and talks went on over his future to the extent he feared that the race had been his last in Formula One.
“There were some tough moments, some sleepless nights,” said Grosjean, who made his Formula One debut in 2009 when he raced seven times for Renault before a three year hiatus prior to driving for Lotus last term.
“I had a lot of discussions with the team's owners, which 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 and create something special.”
Grosjean, who recorded three podium finishes last season 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 Grand Prix which claimed among its victims Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who was to go on and finish second in the world title race, just three points behind Sebastian Vettel.
Grosjean's recklessness in that collision resulted in a one race suspension - however, he was to go on and take Australian Mark Webber out of the Japanese Grand Prix at the start although this time he escaped censure.
“We have been working together since September in order to make progess because I did not want to wait till the end of the season,” he said.
NO LONGER A ROOKIE
“There are lots of things that I am trying to improve on, 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, who was unable to match Raikkonen's Grand Prix victory in Abu Dhabi, said that 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.”
Grosjean, though, was delighted that being re-signed by Lotus he could put off to another time his other favoured ambition which is to open a restaurant.
“I do not 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, in order to continue what I do best, to drive a car, but the idea is still in my head.” -Sapa-AFP