It's a few days after the 2013 Formula One season has come to an end. Personally I'm glad it is over following the dominance of a certain Mr Vettel, yet for other reasons, I feel this season was refreshing. This was pretty much down to one driver - Frenchman Romain Grosjean.
Towards the end of the 2012 season, Grosjean (or 'Goujon' as my girlfriend calls him) was under more pressure than any driver on the grid. Whilst undeniably quick, he'd was involved in several high profile accidents and he was being verbally targeted by drivers up and down the grid following a series of collisions that led to him being banned for one race. I've been a big supporter of Grosjean since he joined 'Ice Man' Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus at the start of 2012 but at the end of the season, even I thought his days were numbered and he was off to race in sportscars.
But Lotus had patience, something which most F1 teams don't have (or can't have, depending on how you look at it). Fantastically, their patience was more than rewarded. As Raikkonen tailed off, falling back and eventually not taking part in the last two races in 2013, the Lotus 'star' baton was rapidly passing on to Grosjean.
Taking the fight to the dominant Red Bull's as best he could, Grosjean's performances in the latter part of the season were nothing less than spectacular, with some of his critics from 2012 becoming his praisers in 2013. Even the 4 time World Champion Vettel was impressed. Grosjean was, without doubt, one of the biggest stars of 2013 - a titanic change to 12 months earlier.
Formula One teams need money more than ever as the recession is still hitting the sport. This is why a driver like Pastor Maldonado, who many people find questionable as a front running driver yet has a serious amount of financial backing, is holding all the cards in terms of what's left of the remaining empty F1 cockpits (Lotus being one of them). In a world like this, it's so refreshing that a team like Lotus can be patient and trust in a driver turning things around, especially as their finances have been questioned too.
Other teams, even outside Formula One, should take this as a lesson from the faith Lotus have shown in Grosjean.