Romain Grosjean says he is in a much better position to race in Formula One now than he was in his debut year in 2009 and has thanked his critics for making him stronger.

13273 - 'Stronger' Grosjean thanks his critics

Grosjean raced for Renault during the latter half of the 2009 season, but was dropped at the end of the year when the team came under its current management. He then raced in sports cars in 2010 before returning to single seaters in Auto GP and GP2. In 2011 he went on to become GP2 champion and on the back of that success was given a drive by Lotus (formerly Renault) for 2012.

"I think I wasn't that ready in 2009," he admitted at the media launch of the new car. "I did some mistakes, I did a few good things as well, but for the most part it wasn't quite there. I didn't do everything right, but I would say the two years in GP2 were quite helpful and quite interesting for myself and now I am more ready. I would not say 100%, because you are never 100% ready to make the jump to Formula One, but the difference is much less than what it was."

Asked whether he is looking to prove his critics wrong this season, Grosjean added: "I want to say to the people that didn't believe in me, 'thank you for making me stronger'. People not believing in me just helped make me stronger."