Romain Grosjean has revealed he tried to give up on his Formula 1 career to become a chef after he was dropped by Renault for the 2010 season. Having debuted midway through 2009, Grosjean was dropped from the team the following season for Vitaly Petrov.
Grosjean replaced Nelson Piquet Jr to partner Fernando Alonso just as the 'Crashgate' scandal began to surface, his best finish in seven races a 13th-place finish in Brazil.
The Frenchman walked away from motorsport, but returned to GP2 with DAMS in late 2010, before winning the junior series the following year – enough for Lotus Renault to rehire him in 2012.
He has remained in F1 ever since, signing for Haas in 2016, however Grosjean says he wanted a change of career at the age of 23, only to be told it was too late for him to start a life in the kitchen.
"It was tough, it was very late as well," Grosjean told F1's 'Beyond the Grid' podcast of how he received the news of his sacking.
"Eric Boullier was then in charge of Lotus and I was in contact with Eric and they were telling me if we don't find anyone you are the obvious choice because you have experience in the team and so on.
"Then on the 31st of January 2010 I got a call from Eric saying they had signed Petrov so I was out.
"I thought 'that's it, I'm not racing anymore' so I am going to become a cook - because that's part of my passion. I went to a cooking school and I was told I was too old. They said no."
Grosjean has retained his passion for cookery, despite the knockback, and released a recipe book 'Cuisine et Confidences' with his wife Marion in 2017.