Formula 1’s enfant terribles of 2012, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, have offered differing takes on how they will respond to the criticism that was heaped upon them for their often-overeager driving last year.
Recent awarded the title of the most penalised driver in 2012 for the second year running, Maldonado has a message for the other drivers in Formula 1: he is going to continue driving exactly the same way he always has and isn’t going to change for nobody.
The Spanish Grand Prix winner faced heavy criticism during last years season due to his constant run ins with other drivers and various other incidents. However the Venezuelan insists he isn’t about to change a formula that has always worked for him.
“Yes, I’ve had run-ins with other drivers, not only now but in the past,” Maldonado said, "But I have won in each of the categories in which I have competed."
"Every time I walk down a hallway in my house and see everything I’ve got with this style, I think I should continue on this path. That gives me strength to keep going, because you can always improve."
Maldonado will be joined by his third different team-mate at Williams in as many seasons this year, as Finnish youngster Valtteri Bottas joining the team this year.
While Maldonado won’t change his racing style to please his critics in 2013, fellow ‘bash brother’ Romain Grosjean insists he has worked hard on correcting ‘mistakes’ that saw him bear the brunt of the stewards and F1 experts in 2012.
The Frenchman drove an impressive season for Lotus but it was overshadowed by numerous first lap incidents which eventually lead to him receiving a one race ban for the Italian Grand Prix after another first lap incident in Belgium nearly caused serious injury to Fernando Alonso.
A more circumspect Grosjean claims he has learnt from such mistakes.
“I do not think winning at all costs is the goal,” he said. “The dream is to become world champion one day. Of course, it is true that you have to win races to be champion, but I must be careful not to mistake the goal.”
Grosjean was called numerous names last season, most famously a "first lap nutcase" by Aussie Red Bull star Mark Webber.
“Mark said it straight out of the car in Japan, with all the adrenaline of the race still inside him. I apologised which is the most I can do. I am not crazy, I am aware of the risks and I have worked hard to correct my mistakes. Over the last five races, I didn’t have any other problems and there is no reason to believe that I will have any more.”
After being re-signed by Lotus for another season, Grosjean will be looking for his first win in 2013 and knows he will have to continue on from the impressive form that saw him score three podiums and 96 points last year.
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