Romain Grosjean was lucky to escape an horrific crash on what looks set to be his final Formula 1 appearance. Here are the facts and statistics from Grosjean’s 2020 F1 season.
Romain Grosjean was involved in one of the most shocking incidents in recent Formula 1 history at the Bahrain Grand Prix. After glancing Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri, Grosjean speared into a barrier, his car splitting in two as the survival cell penetrated the metal railings. The car burst into flames and Grosjean was – thankfully – able to extract himself to safety, albeit with minor burns.
Of the 800 laps which he raced in 2020, Grosjean spent only 89 in the points-paying positions. Grosjean recorded his team’s best result in 2020 with a ninth place finish at the Eifel Grand Prix – the only time he scored this year. The Haas car was clearly not capable of scoring points regularly, regardless of its driver, and the Frenchman still showed the occasional turn of speed.
It was announced in October that both Grosjean and team-mate Kevin Magnussen would leave the Haas team at the end of 2020. Grosjean’s crash robbed him of the chance to end his Formula 1 career in a more conventional way. He had hopes of returning to the cockpit for the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but ultimately decided against it in order to aid his recovery and not risk further damage. He has been offered the opportunity to test with a number of teams following his recovery, including with reigning champions Mercedes. Grosjean leaves Formula 1 having made 179 starts, scoring 391 points and ten podium finishes.
- Championship Position: 19th
- Total Points: 2
- % of teams’ points scored: 67%
- Points Scoring Races: 1
- Best finish: 9th (Eifel)
- Number of starts: 15
- Number of non-finishes: 3
- Number of finishes: 12
- Laps Led: 0
- Laps Complete: 800
- % of Laps Complete: 77.15%
- Distance Covered: 4131.734km
- Laps Raced in the Top 10: 89
- Laps Raced in the Top 5: 15
- Laps Raced in the Top 3: 0
- Races gained positions in: 9
- Races lost positions in: 3
- Finished where started: 0
- Q3 Appearances: 0
- Q2 Exits: 3
- Q1 Exits: 12
- Best Qualifying Position: 14th (70th Anniversary)
- Worst Qualifying Position: 20th (Styria)
- Average Qualifying Position: 17
- Average Grid Position: 16.8
- Average Gap to own potential qualifying pace: +0.124s
- Achieved own ultimate pace: 4
- Beat team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 19
- Beaten by team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 32
- Average gap to team-mate per sector in qualifying:+0.054s
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Austria: On Saturday at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean equalled Fernando Alonso as the driver to have had the most Q2 eliminations at the Red Bull Ring. His fifteenth place on the grid marked the Frenchman’s fourth Q2 exit.
Styria: Romain Grosjean was unable to set a lap time in qualifying for the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix and recorded his first Q1 exit in Austria as a result. The Frenchman started from the pit lane and finished in thirteenth. It was the second best finish for a driver starting from the pits at the Red Bull Ring, bettered only by Fernando Alonso, who finished eighth having started from the pits in 2018.
Hungary: After deciding to pit for dry tyres before the start of the race, Romain Grosjean started from the pit lane for a second consecutive race. Prior to the Styrian Grand Prix, Grosjean had never previously started from the pit lane. Grosjean is the only driver on the current grid who has recorded two consecutive pit lane starts.
Britain: From his nine appearances at Silverstone, the 2020 British Grand Prix was the first time that Romain Grosjean was eliminated in Q1 at the circuit. Of the four races that he had finished here, sixteenth is his lowest finishing position.
70th Anniversary: Romain Grosjean, who sat last in the Drivers’ Championship after the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, recorded a fifth Q2 elimination at Silverstone. Only Sergio Perez has had more Q2 exits at the track, having been eliminated in the session seven times. Grosjean finished sixteenth for a third consecutive race.
Spain: For the first time in nine appearances at the Spanish Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean was eliminated in Q1. On Sunday, he finished the event in a position outside of the points for the first time.
Belgium: For only the second time in his career, Romain Grosjean failed to score at any of the first seven races of the season.
Italy: Failing to score for an eighth consecutive race, Romain Grosjean equalled his worst ever start to a season at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. His previous worst start to a season came in 2018 – though the Frenchman did record two more retirements in the opening races in 2018 than he did in 2020.
Tuscany: Romain Grosjean finished twelfth and last of the cars still running at the end of the Tuscan Grand Prix. 2020 was the first time that Grosjean has failed to score at any of the opening nine races of the season.
Russia: Romain Grosjean still sat last in the Drivers’ Championship after the 2020 Russian Grand Prix. As a result of the race, he – and eight others – no longer had a mathematical chance of winning the 2020 Drivers’ Championship.
Eifel: With ninth place in the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean scored his first points of the 2020 season. It was the first time that the Frenchman scored since F1’s last visit to Germany at the 2019 German Grand Prix. Grosjean became the first driver to score at the Nurburgring having started sixteenth on the grid since Gunnar Nilsson finished fifth in the 1976 German Grand Prix.
Portugal: For the second time in the last three races, Romain Grosjean finished the Portuguese Grand Prix in seventeenth place. In the last six events, there have been three occasions where seventeen or more drivers finished. On all of those occasions, a Haas driver has finished seventeenth.
Emilia Romagna: With fourteenth place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean became the twentieth driver to record six fourteenth place finishes in his career. Grosjean crossed the line in twelfth place – just as he had done at the other two Italian races this year – but was demoted to fourteenth following a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits.
Turkey: Romain Grosjean failed to finish the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix. This was his second retirement of the season; his first since the opening race of the year. Grosjean became the first driver to retire at the Turkish Grand Prix having started from seventeenth on the grid.
Bahrain: Romain Grosjean was lucky to survive a huge crash on the opening lap of the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. Grosjean’s crash was the first time a driver has been eliminated on the opening lap in Bahrain since 2008.
Sakhir: Following his crash on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean missed the Sakhir Grand Prix. This was the first race which Grosjean did not enter since the 2012 Italian Grand Prix and the first which he did not start since the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix. Over the weekend, Grosjean announced that he would not race in Abu Dhabi, likely ending his 179-race F1 career.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.