Building team from ground up "not new" to Grosjean

Haas Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean says establishing a new team and helping it fight its way up the pecking order is nothing new to him.

In particular, the Frenchman, whose F1 career up to this season had been spent with the Enstone team in both its Renault and Lotus guises, recalled his tenure with the DAMS squad in GP2.

When asked whether racing for a rookie team was a different task for him, Grosjean told Motorsport.com: "It's not really new to me.

"When I drove for DAMS in the GP2 series a few years ago, we all had to put the team back where it belonged.

"But obviously, it’s a task far more complicated in F1 and we have a lot of work to do ahead of us."

Having enjoyed success in Formula 3000 in the 90s, DAMS was part of GP2 since the series' inception in 2005, but never finished higher than fifth in the teams' standings until 2011.

Grosjean joined the team's GP2 stable in late 2010 and won the series title in 2011, with Davide Valsecchi and Jolyon Palmer adding two more drivers' titles to DAMS' collection in 2012 and 2014.

Haas team not inexperienced

Despite the Haas squad's status as a new Formula 1 venture, Grosjean said that the team's personnel were well-versed in running an F1 squad.

"The Haas team is made of a lot of experienced people, with many having solid a F1 background," the Frenchman. "This team acts and reacts as if it was very experienced.

"Driving for Haas is a step forward for me. I am working with new people and helping America’s new F1 team progress and bring it to the front scene.

"I know these guys are not in F1 for just one year. We can all go forward and create a very good team.”

But it will need time

Grosjean feels the new developments in Formula 1 - among them the recent changes to the qualifying format and the increased scope of the new radio ban - could mean Haas will need more time to adapt.

"We did little mileage [in testing], especially with all these changes on the sporting regulations like the clampdown on radio conversations," he said.

"The big teams will get to grip with the news rules relatively quickly, while the smaller teams will take longer."

"We’re still very busy working on certain areas of the car. We’ll do our best but it’s obvious that we’ll not be at our best here [in Australia].

"However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to score good results a bit later in the season."

Despite the team having solved several issues on the Haas VF16, Grosjean has braced himself for fresh problems as the squad finds its feet in F1.

"We have solved several teething problems but I am sure that new ones will emerge," he said.

"Even for the big teams there are problems to solve. We need to keep our heads down and work very hard.

"We also need to continue to react correctly when we face technical problems.”

Interview by Rene Fagnan

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean
Teams Haas F1 Team , DAMS
Article type Interview