Romain Grosjean has said the abuse he receives on social media is “no big deal” and fluctuates depending on his performances.
The Haas driver is somewhat of an easy target after regular race retirements and a smattering of crashes, leaving many surprised to see him retained by the American outfit for the 2020 season.
But Grosjean is glad that he at least evokes some response from fans, whether they love him or hate him, and the abuse he sees online is never replicated when meeting Formula 1 fans in person.
“Not long ago I went to see a concert with my wife. We posted a selfie, and a guy commenting [abuse] on it got a kick out of it,” Grosjean told Motorsport.com.
“On the street, you’ll never meet a guy who’ll say things to your face.
“I’m better off being liked or disliked than having no charisma at all. There are people who support me, others who don’t. I understand that.
“Sometimes we can chat on social media. That’s what social networks are for, to ask for explanations behind a thought: ‘Why do you say that Grosjean crashed everywhere last year? Get me the statistics and we’ll talk about it again.’
“There is sometimes an image that somebody is stuck with. That’s life, it’s not a big deal.
“When you get a good result, the numbers go up, the people are there, and when it’s a bad result, people are tough.
“Sometimes they are easy to criticise, but once again, among those I meet every day, there has never been one person across the street who has said that to me.”