Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Romain Grosjean "dreamed of Ferrari" but denies he wants a quick move from Haas F1

Romain Grosjean says he dreamed of driving for Ferrari in Formula 1 as a child, but the father of two claims he did not sign for Haas F1 as a ploy ...

Romain Grosjean "dreamed of Ferrari" but denies he wants a quick move from Haas F1

Romain Grosjean says he dreamed of driving for Ferrari in Formula 1 as a child, but the father of two claims he did not sign for Haas F1 as a ploy to join the Scuderia in place of Kimi Raikkonen next season.

The French racer left Lotus at the end of 2015 – shortly before it was re-bought by Renault – to drive for Gene Haas’ eponymous squad, which is the first American team to take part in F1 for 30 years.

In the first three races of 2016, Grosjean has scored 18 points – including a remarkable sixth place at the opening race of the season in Australia – and currently sits eighth in the drivers’ championship.

Romain Grosjean

Since his move to Haas was first announced last September, there has been much speculation that Grosjean hopes to join Ferrari if Kimi Raikkonen retires at the end of 2016 because the American outfit has a close technical partnership with the Scuderia.

But in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Grosjean denied he was seeking a quick move to Ferrari and explained that he believed in the long-term future of the Haas F1 project.

He said: “I dreamed of Ferrari since I was eight years old. Nevertheless, I did not go to Haas F1 in order to land through the back door at Ferrari.

XPB.cc Gene Haas Romain Grosjean

“I believe in this team and am very proud that I am the first driver who has scored points for an American team after 30 years.

“I am not in a hurry [as] I am only 30 years old and still have many years ahead of me.”

"VF-16 one of the best cars I've ever driven"

Haas F1’s sensational start to 2016 has been one of the stories of the season so far. Grosjean’s result in Melbourne meant the American squad was the first totally new F1 team to score points on its debut since Toyota back in 2002.

XPB.cc Romain Grosjean

Grosjean described how he knew he had made the correct call to join Haas F1 rather than stay with Renault early in winter testing and explained that the VF-16 was one of the best F1 cars he has driven.

He said: “After two laps at the winter tests I knew that I had made the right decision. It is probably one of the best cars I've ever driven.

“Now I know: this project is much better than I had dreamed. I have collected a bunch of points at the beginning of the season.

Romain Grosjean

“All in all it was a much lower risk for me than it looked from the outside. With a bit of common sense, the choice was actually logical.”

“It is not true that our car is a small Ferrari"

While Haas F1 has gained many plaudits for its instant success in the sport, some of its midfield rivals feel aggrieved that the team is able to benefit from its use of Ferrari technology.

Haas F1

But Grosjean denied that Haas F1 was merely a Ferrari B-team and explained how its 2016 challenger was different from the Italian marque’s own car.

He said: “It is not true that our car is a small Ferrari. The nose is different, the front wing philosophy, the chassis, the side boxes, the rear wing.

“Sure, we have the suspensions and the transmission of Ferrari. But we built our own car around it.

Ben Agathangelou

“I have great respect for [head of aerodynamics] Ben Agathangelou and the aerodynamic department. This is a Haas car and no Ferrari. Therefore, I am also sure that we do a good job in developing the car.”

Low tyre wear the key to Haas F1's success

But Grosjean did explain that the VF-16 was kind to its tyres in a similar way to last year’s Ferrari because its gearbox and rear axle were both produced by the Scuderia. The Frenchman’s points scoring runs in Melbourne and Bahrain came after the team used clever strategies to exploit the softer tyre compounds.

Romain Grosjean

He said: “The 2015 Ferrari was nice to the tyres. It is therefore no coincidence that our car is also. We have the same gearbox and the same rear axle.

“Our low tyre wear can help us in the races in which the soft tyres are critical for others. We can deal with them and use to our advantage.”

Haas F1 critics "jealous"

Romain Grosjean

The former GP2 champion also praised Haas F1’s business model and stated that rival squads who attacked its relationship with Ferrari were “jealous” of its achievements.

He said: “Our path as an American team opened [up] the way to F1 and it will be a model for other new teams. The people who criticise us are just jealous of our success. But [this] is F1.”

Romain Grosjean

What have you made of Haas F1’s start to 2016? Do you expect its success to continue throughout the season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
shares
comments
Renault agrees to more aggressive 2016 chassis push

Previous article

Renault agrees to more aggressive 2016 chassis push

Next article

Hamilton: I want to end career as successful as Rossi

Hamilton: I want to end career as successful as Rossi
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals Prime

Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals

The tragic events of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix changed Formula 1 forever. Here, 17 of the drivers who took part explain how they coped with the devastating deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021