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Mark Webber admits his views on Romain Grosjean have changed over the past 12 months and he now feels the Frenchman is worthy of a place in Formula One.
Grosjean was involved in an incident with the Australian at the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix which saw the Red Bull flyer’s race end on the first lap and Webber was incensed with his rival at the time.
He labelled Grosjean a “first-lap nutcase” and questioned whether or not the Geneva-born racer should be behind the wheel of an F1 car, as he was also involved in a big crash at Spa-Francorchamps just a few weeks earlier.
But one year later and it was a different story as Grosjean finished third behind race winner Sebastian Vettel and Webber at Suzuka, after a race-long tussle with the Red Bull duo.
It was superb drive by the 27-year-old and led Webber to admit that he now feels the Lotus man has settled down and has changed his ways.
“I think it’s very clear that Romain has a very different mental approach to the job at the moment this year,” said the Australian.
“He’s driven some quite strong races, putting together the whole weekend which is a sign of a driver starting to get a bit more relaxed and confident.”
Grosjean is down in eighth place in the standings, having taken 87 points so far this term, with Webber three places better off and the Aussie wants to make sure that he finishes ahead of the former Renault racer in his final season in F1.
“[I] hope he doesn’t improve too much more before the end of the year,” he added. “And we can keep going.”