Former Renault Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean is still optimistic about his chances of getting back into grand prix racing even though he has switched to the new FIA GT1 World Championship this year.
Grosjean had an unsuccessful half-season with Renault in F1 in 2009, stepping up from GP2 in the wake of Nelson Piquet Jr.'s dismissal, but struggling to make an impact with no testing, amid the team's crisis following the Singapore scandal revelations, and with Renault focusing its development efforts on the 2010 car. He was not kept on for this year and now races for Matech Ford in GT1.
"It is not a new life, it is not forgetting Formula 1, I don't hide that my aim is to go back to F1 next year for sure," Grosjean told AUTOSPORT. "But, on the other hand, driving is my passion and it is my job as well.
"It's a new experience for me and maybe for the future it can help. And for sure I'm still trying to get the good contacts and the good opportunities to go to F1 next year. But for this year this opportunity came up. It is not like I want to switch my ideal career. It's just one year, but I want to drive, I enjoy driving and when the chance came I thought it was good to take it."
He added that he preferred to race elsewhere than to chase an F1 test and reserve option. "It is worse sitting at home and waiting," said Grosjean. "If you wait at home nobody will call you, but if you race your name is still around, you still meet journalists and this is very important."
He feels he did a respectable job for Renault in tough circumstances. "When you look in detail at my results compared to Fernando [Alonso], as we say in French, I don't have to be afraid," Grosjean said. "I was two tenths slower sometimes, with a difficult car to drive and a difficult environment. So, when I looked back, I don't have any regrets. I gave my best and I think I did very well. It didn't show on the time sheets or the results, because we were 16th or 17th, but when I look back at it, I think I did a good job and I deserve a real chance."
A former Formula 3 Euro Series and GP2 Asia champion, Grosjean underlined that F1 was his future preference, but remains open-minded and is sure he could settle in other racing disciplines.
"At the moment, F1 is the absolute dream for sure and if I can go back I will," said Grosjean. "But then I think you can still enjoy your life if it doesn't happen – ask Tom Kristensen if he is happy with his career and you will get the answer."