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The First Time - with Lotus's Romain Grosjean

25 Apr 2014

Romain Grosjean came of age during the 2013 season, scoring six podiums and finishing seventh overall for Lotus. This year the team are struggling to match such form and Grosjean is still awaiting his first points.

In the meantime, as part of our series to help you get to know the world’s finest drivers better, we asked the 28-year-old Frenchman about some of the already established ‘firsts’ in his life…

Who was your first hero when you were a child?

Romain Grosjean: When I think of all the people I admired as a child, I think the one I liked most was Jean Alesi.

What was the first Grand Prix you can remember watching?

RG: I certainly remember watching the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. I am sure I watched races before that, but I cannot remember them.

How old were you when you first decided you wanted to be an F1 driver?

RG: I don’t remember when I wanted to be an F1 driver - but I realised that I could be if I wanted to when I was 19-years-old.

When was your first big accident in a race car?

RG: It was in Formula Renault 2.0 - I broke my little finger at a race in Zolder. It was a big shunt.

What colour was your first helmet?

RG: Blue, orange and yellow. Now as I say it, it sounds like I had a preference for parrots… (laughs)

When did you win your first trophy in racing and what did it look like?

RG: It was a kart race in Varennes in France. I don’t remember what the trophy looked like, but I also won a toolbox - and that travelled with me for quite some time!

What was the first road car you drove?

RG: It must have been my mum’s Renault.

Where was the first house you lived in?

RG: It was close to Geneva, Switzerland, with my parents.

How nervous were you on your first day of school?

RG: I didn’t really like to go to school. I am quite shy so my first day was a bit of a drama.

What was the first meal you ever cooked?

RG: Pasta - al dente!

What was the first thing you did this morning?

RG: Take my vitamins.

What was the first thing you did after getting your first seat in F1 racing?

RG: I was on a flight from London to Geneva and I got a call telling me that I would drive in the European Grand Prix in 2009, so I called my then girlfriend - now my wife - and my dad.

What was the first record you bought?

RG: I think it was something in the range of ‘Dance Volume 13’. The sophistication came a bit later! (laughs)

What was the first sport you participated in as a kid?

RG: Viet vu dao - a Vietnamese martial art.

How old were you when you had your first romantic kiss?

RG: It was at a race track. I don’t want to go into details…

When was the first time you were asked to sign an autograph for a fan?

RG: Probably when I won the Swiss Formula Renault 2.0 championship in 2003.

When did you first taste champagne?

RG: I cannot remember - but as it is now my favourite drink I must have liked it!

Which would you eat first - a piece of fruit or a piece of chocolate?

RG: Now that’s a question. A piece of chocolate - still.

What was the first word you said as a baby?

RG: Obviously it must have been either ‘mama’ or ‘papa’, but I remember that I had quite a few issues as a toddler saying ‘aspirateur’ (vacuum cleaner). I created quite a number of amazing words out of it…