Romain Grosjean has admitted that he nearly gave up racing for cooking!
In 2009 Grosjean was told that he would no longer be racing for Renault. The Frenchman decided to head to Paris and sign up to a cooking school. However, he was turned away because at the age of 24 he was deemed too old!
“I was expecting to get a seat with the team going into the 2010 season,” says Grosjean. “I felt I had raced well. I felt I was on the right trajectory. But - and you might know this - the politics in F1 are quite… prevalent, let’s say." said Grosjean to formula1.com.
“I tried to keep to myself as a rookie - to lay low. But then I heard I was 'arrogant' and I had a 'big ego.' And the thing is, that just wasn’t true. I was just shy. I was just me! So some people didn’t like me I guess, and on January 31st, I got a call from Eric Boullier, the Renault Team Principal.
“He said: ‘Romain, I am sorry to say this, but yes, we have signed Vitaly Petrov to the seat for this season.’ I hung up the phone, thinking my F1 career was over. And right away, I began to pack."
“I caught a train from Geneva to Paris. I called my girlfriend, now my wife, to let her know that I was coming to visit her. And that I had some news about my career. I was going to be a chef. Yes, a chef.
“I grew up loving food. I watched my mom cook great meals in our family home. I can still remember the smells of the cheeses in our kitchen, the tastes of the chocolate for dessert. And also, chocolate is my religion. Put that on a T-shirt!"
“Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, it never got to that point. I did actually go to cooking school in Paris. Like I physically went to the building. But they didn’t even let me sign up. Can you believe that? I was told I was too old. Too old! I was 24! So that was that. No cooking.”
Luckily he returned to racing and was soon back in Formula 1. Grosjean is going into his 4th year as a Haas driver.