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"No regrets" Haas F1 star Romain Grosjean lining up a race in NASCAR

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"No regrets" Haas F1 star Romain Grosjean lining up a race in NASCAR
Jul 7, 2016, 5:57 PM

Romain Grosjean says he has does not regret choosing to race for Haas F1 for “one second” and is now embracing all that the team has to offer, ...

Romain Grosjean says he has does not regret choosing to race for Haas F1 for “one second” and is now embracing all that the team has to offer, including an opportunity to do a NASCAR race.

Grosjean made a surprise decision to join start-up Haas ahead of its Formula 1 debut in 2016, rather than stay with the Lotus team that was being acquired by Renault.

But the Frenchman has led from the front and he has gone on to score points in four races, including the season opening Australian Grand Prix and the most recent race in Austria. Bahrain and Russia were also fruitful for the team, which is in touch with sixth place in the constructors' championship.

By contrast, his former team has struggled to get results and currently sits ninth in the constructors’ championship with just six points.

Romain Grosjean

Speaking at the pre-event FIA press conference for the British Grand Prix, Grosjean was asked if was happy with his choice to join Haas and after explaining that he has no regrets over his decision, he described his pride at the success the new squad has enjoyed so far this season.

He said: “On the ninth of September last year I made my decision and I didn’t regret it from there. I like to think that when I stick to one plan I don’t like to regret.

“I am living a very nice experience on a very good team. [I’m] very proud to be driving for a US team [and] I’m very proud to have scored the first points for Haas in Formula 1. All of that together is a very nice experience and I didn’t regret one second of what I’m doing.

“The more we go, the more we learn and the more the people I work with are really following the same trends, so that’s great.”

Romain Grosjean

Grosjean was also asked for his thoughts on NASCAR, where Haas F1 owner Gene Haas also has a racing team, and the 30-year-old Frenchman described his desire to take part in the American stock car series in the future.

He said: “When I was sitting on my sofa watching the Sonoma race I wished I was there. It was good fun – I liked the last lap with Tony Stewart winning the race and pushing Martin Truex [Jr] a little bit wide.

“I do need to get a few laps, a few days in the car, get some good sensations and then I’ll come to do a race.”

Grosjean has scored all of Haas F1’s points so far this season and his performances are likely to have caught the attention of Ferrari, which may have an open second seat alongside Sebastian Vettel if it drops Kimi Raikkonen at the end of 2016.

Haas F1’s close relationship with Ferrari, which has resulted in the Scuderia’s academy driver Charles Leclerc taking part in FP1 for the American squad at Silverstone, means Grosjean is in a strong place to show his skills to the Italian team.

Charles Leclerc

However, there are thought to be several drivers in contention for a driver with Ferrari next, including Sergio Perez. Raikkonen is also having a strong season and could yet stay put – the Finn is level with Vettel in the championship and has already scored more podiums finishes than he did in 2015.

Renault focused on qualifying

Renault has only had one top ten finish in the first nine races of the season – when Kevin Magnussen came seventh at the Russian Grand Prix – and the team is currently 21 points adrift of Haas in the constructors’ standings.

Jolyon Palmer

Speaking at the same press conference ahead of the British Grand Prix, Jolyon Palmer explained that Renault was focused on improving its qualifying form to aid its quest for points.

He said: “[We are focused on qualifying] 100 per cent really – I think we’ve been quite close. In Montreal I was only 0.015s off Romain to get to Q2 [so] it was really close. Austria as well, we were ok but then we had the red flag and [we] struggled to get the last set of tyres on.

“I think we’re not far away [from reaching Q2] – hopefully this weekend we can find the last bit. I think the track should suit us more than the last few. Then once you’re in Q2 you’re basically starting a few places higher and you’ve got more chance of scoring points.

Kevin Magnussen Jolyon Palmer

“They are the two aims – to get into Q2 and then score some points.”

What do you make of Grosjean’s decision to join Haas? And what have you made of Renault so far in 2016? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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