Haas should target seventh or better in 2017 - Grosjean

Haas driver Romain Grosjean believes the American team shouldn't aim to consolidate eighth place in the Formula 1 teams' pecking order, but instead to finish higher than in 2016.

Unless F1's 2016 season finale in Abu Dhabi produces a very unusual result, Haas will finish its debut campaign in the championship in eighth place, ahead of Renault, Sauber and Manor.

The team's chief race engineer Ayao Komatsu said earlier that Haas would face an uphill battle to keep eighth place next year, given the change in regulations and the fact Renault is likely to make big gains.

However, Grosjean insists Haas' plan for entering Formula 1 always featured a focus on 2017 - and that the team should thus aim to be higher up the order.

Explaining why the team has scored most of its points haul so far in the first two races, Grosjean told Motorsport.com: "Well, I think it's very simple. The project has been getting ready for years and years, and came to Formula 1 when it was ready - that's why I joined. But then the idea is to come to F1 in 2016 and then to do better in 2017.

"And to be able to do better in 2017, we had to switch very, very early to 2017, because we have less resources than other teams. So the 2016 car was never in the wind tunnel in 2016. We had the car in the beginning and we didn't bring any upgrades.

"No updates plus lacking some experience in some places makes a little bit more inconsistent, and we dropped a bit of performance."

Asked what target he would be happy for the team to hit in 2017, Grosjean said: "If we do better than this year in the constructors' championship. If we do seventh or more."

Regulation change welcome

Grosjean said he is keen on the new regulations making for faster F1 cars in 2017, saying the current-spec machines are simply "too slow" through the corners.

"I haven't tried anything yet on the simulator, so we'll see. I'm very happy that it's going to go faster, we need some big balls. This is too slow in the corner.

"I didn't know 2005 and 2006 when they were much faster, but I've known 2009 and 2012 and '13, where they were much faster in the corners than we are today.

"And that's what you want from Formula 1, you don't want to see that Super Formula in Japan is going faster in Sector 1 in Suzuka than we do. It's not good."

Interview by Roberto Chinchero

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean
Teams Haas F1 Team
Article type Breaking news