When the curtain closed on the 2011 GP2 season, Romain Grosjean looked odds-on to land a drive in Formula 1 for next year. In a business that can often be about who you know, not what you know, he seemed to have the ear of the right people.
Renault F1 team boss Eric Boullier has been managing the Frenchman's career, a task he picked up in the wake of Grosjean's previous dalliance with the same team alongside Fernando Alonso in 2009. After initially farming him out to GT racing in 2010, to give as clear an indication as any of life without F1, Boullier had, it seemed, mapped out his protege's path back to the top of the sport. All Grosjean had to do was jump through the right hoops at the right time.
Yet less than a week after the F1 season had drawn to a close, and every hoop had seemingly been cleared, Grosjean was beginning to contemplate a life away from the highest level of the sport.
The news that he was testing a DTM car for BMW this week didn't look particularly startling at first. The German marque has tested an array of drivers since its 2012 test hack has been up and running, and at first glance it seemed little more than a chance for the Munich squad to give another top driver some seat time, and an opportunity for Grosjean to have a bit of fun.