Formula 1
Formula 1
29 Aug
-
01 Sep
Event finished
05 Sep
-
08 Sep
Event finished
19 Sep
-
22 Sep
Event finished
26 Sep
-
29 Sep
Event finished
10 Oct
-
13 Oct
Event finished
Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Romain Grosjean joins Haas F1: "we’d like to drink champagne on the podium"

shares
comments
Romain Grosjean joins Haas F1: "we’d like to drink champagne on the podium"
Sep 29, 2015, 5:18 PM

Haas F1 has confirmed Romain Grosjean as its lead driver for the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Haas F1 has confirmed Romain Grosjean as its lead driver for the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Grosjean’s switch to the American team that will make its F1 debut next year was confirmed at an event held at the team’s base in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Haas F1 team owner, Gene Haas explained the decision to sign Grosjean was based on his F1 experience and proven points scoring record in the sport.

KANNAPOLIS, NC - SEPTEMBER 29: as Haas F1 Team announces Romain Grosjean of France as their driver for the upcoming 2016 Formula 1 season on September 29, 2015 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Stewart-Haas Racing via Getty Images)

He said: “This is part of our long-term strategy. We’ve always maintained that we wanted an experienced driver to lead our team into the 2016 season. F1 is a tricky business, it’s like any other type of business, you have to learn and the best way to learn is from other people.

“Romain was one of many candidates and has been in F1 for many years now. I’ve watched a lot of videos of his driving style and one thing that was very impressive is the fact that he’s scored points in almost every season and that is our primary goal here, to be able to score points.

“He is going to be our lead driver and we’re going to depend heavily on him to help us with our strategies, the car, the racetracks and just the learning the whole operation of an F1 team.”

Grosjean will join Haas F1 from the Enstone-based Lotus team where he has driven for all of his four-and-a-half year F1 career, which was split into two stints from the latter half of the 2009 season (when the team was known as Renault) and began again at the start of 2012.

Romain Grosjean

Speaking about his decision to switch teams, Grosjean said: “Thinking about your future and your career is always important. I discovered the project a few years ago through the media and then I got to know a bit more about how it was nicely building up.

“I liked the fact it is a different approach to what a new F1 team would normally do and I think it is an approach that can be successful pretty quickly. We’re not racing in F1 to be last on the grid, it is to try to do our best as a team, and [for me] as a driver and we’d like to try to drink the champagne on the podium.

“I like the idea of a 50-50 partnership with Ferrari and I liked the way everything has been going and I liked the fact it’s been going slowly but nicely. I’m very happy that I made this decision.”

Haas F1 team principal, Gunther Steiner explained that discussions with Grosjean began as early as the Spanish Grand Prix in May and that he considered the Frenchman’s ability to influence the technical direction of a team with leading F1 engineers.

He said: “We looked are around to find the right guy because we wanted someone with experience, but still hungry to go a long way with us. I started talks with Romain’s management in Barcelona to see if he was interested.

“We spoke to quite a few drivers and in the end I spoke with technical people about how Romain develops a car because we have a steep mountain to climb because we are a new team.

“In the end we found the right guy because he has done that for quite a while now and he is still aggressive enough, but is not young and inexperienced and would lose time by having accidents or doing rookie mistakes. We picked the best one out there for what we are doing.”

The American squad has secured a technical partnership with Ferrari and will use the Italian marque’s power units next year in its Dallara made F1 chassis. The team’s relationship with Ferrari is understood to have played a key role in persuading Grosjean to join, as he hopes to emerge as the leading candidate to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari in the future.

XPB.cc

Haas F1 is yet to announce who will partner Grosjean in 2016, although Ferrari test driver Esteban Gutierrez is thought to be the leading contender for the drive thanks to his ties to the Scuderia and his significant financial backing.

Has Grosjean made the right descision to join Haas F1? And who should drive alongside him next year? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Next article
Haas "surprised" to have landed Grosjean's signature

Previous article

Haas "surprised" to have landed Grosjean's signature

Next article

Steiner on Grosjean hire: "He’s still hungry"

Steiner on Grosjean hire: "He’s still hungry"
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean Shop Now