Grosjean, Hulkenberg and others in wrong 'generation' for F1 success

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Romain Grosjean believes he and other ex-Formula 1 drivers his age were in the wrong generation to be successful.

Due to the eras of domination for Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes since 2000, many talented drivers have come and gone without showing the potential they had in other categories or Formulas.

Grosjean, who was replaced at Haas and went to IndyCar this year, certainly considers himself among those drivers who reached F1 at a bad time.

“You know, if I think about it, maybe the 1986/87 generation was the wrong to be in,” he said on the In The Pink podcast earlier this year.

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“Paul Di Resta, Nico Hulkenberg, myself, even Sebastian Buemi a little bit; we all came at a time when the top seats were taken, the old guys wouldn’t leave Formula 1 yet, and the young ones came after and we never really got our chance. That’s just the way it is.

“There’s not much you can control about that, and having 10 years in Formula 1 has been incredible. I think I’ve achieved what I wanted to.

"Obviously you always want to be a World Champion but you discover that without the right tools there is no chance.

“Hopefully that will change in the future because I think it would bring Formula 1 to a much better place if it wasn’t just dominated by one team.”

Of course, the exceptions are Lewis Hamilton, who was born in 1985, and Sebastian Vettel, who was born in 1987, both of whom were in the right place to win 11 of the last 13 championships.

As for Grosjean, he did have his moments, including 10 podiums, and revealed his disappointment at how his best spell in F1 was abruptly halted.

“Maybe the only regret I have is that Lotus went bankrupt in 2014 after a brilliant 2013 where we were on the right path, going somewhere well,” he said.

“I didn’t get an offer from a top team at the time, Kimi [Raikkonen] went to Ferrari and I stayed at Lotus and we just went downhill. It’s then very hard to recover when you’ve been at a team close to the back of the field.

“I know I could have won some races. There’s no regret in not winning one because I know every time I had the chance I did everything I could. As I say, the only regret is that after 2013 I didn’t get the chance to have a car that was that competitive.”