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'I know what I've achieved in F1' – Grosjean hits out at internet trolls

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BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 19: Romain Grosjean of France and Haas F1 looks on as drivers line up

It's a sad fact that sports stars are subject to barbed comments from fans from time to time – and F1 drivers are no different. Haas's Romain Grosjean has received more than his fair share of “painful” insults from internet trolls over the years, but the Frenchman says he's learned to embrace it – and that his experience of nearly 170 Grands Prix speaks for itself.

The recently turned 34-year-old took time out of his birthday celebrations last week to appear on an F1 Instagram Live session with F1 presenter Will Buxton, and was asked how he responds so calmly to the trolls.

READ MORE: Guenther Steiner on difficult decision making, Haas's future and the impact of coronavirus

“If they say you’re a rubbish driver? Well great… maybe I’m a rubbish driver, but I’ve done 169 Grands Prix," he responded.

“If I was that bad, imagine how stupid the Team Principal would be to keep me in the car?”

I’m kind of happy that either people like me or people don’t like me. If you have the charisma of an oyster, people don’t care

Romain Grosjean

But it hasn't always been so easy for Grosjean to see inflammatory comments pop up on his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

“I’ve been through different phases,” he explained. “Sometimes I was watching [social media comments] and it was just painful.

READ MORE: Haas put majority of UK staff on furlough as drivers agree to pay cut

“So I stopped watching, and, you know what? I got to a point and I was like: ‘I know exactly what I’m doing, I know what I’ve been achieving in Formula 1, I know what I’ve been achieving in my life' – and if those guys decide that they will be harsh on me, I can reply in a funny way.”

Drivers receive comments from trolls after incidents such as this one, involving Grosjean at the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix

But Grosjean – who has 10 F1 podium finishes – says interacting with fans, even when they are not being complimentary, is all part and parcel of the modern media.

“Sometimes their [comments are] not as good as you would like them to be, or as polite or respectful, but I think it’s also part of social media. I like when people [comment], if it’s in a good way and they face you and they say this is not good, [that] is not good’, and you can explain and talk.

READ MORE: Fittipaldi and Deletraz to share Haas test and reserve roles for 2020

“I’m kind of happy that either people like me or people don’t like me. If you have the charisma of an oyster, people don’t care,” he said.

For more live interviews and exclusive content, follow Formula 1 on Instagram, and be sure to wish Romain Grosjean a belated happy birthday while you're there.

Romain Grosjean opens up on F1 Podcast Beyond The Grid

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