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ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX

2018/11/25 13:10:00

In four full seasons of Formula One competition, Romain Grosjean has continued to showcase the speed and consistency that was a hallmark of his highly decorated junior career. Collecting championships and numerous race wins as he ascended Europe’s ultra-competitive open-wheel racing ladder, Grosjean’s talents have continued to impress with the Frenchman joining Haas F1 Team in 2016.

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Abu Dhabi GP 2018 – Advance

19 November 2018
After some tough race weekends in the United States and Mexican Grands Prix, how fulfilling was it to finally get a double-points finish in Brazil to take some positive momentum into the season finale in Abu Dhabi? “It’s great, and that’s what we want for the last two races – double-point finishes. It’s great for the team. I think we had a really good weekend in Brazil. For the future, we need to understand what happened in Mexico and Austin as it just didn’t go to plan, but I was very happy with Brazil.” Regardless of the outcome in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team will have nearly doubled its point tally from last year. Are points scored the surest, most tangible examples of progress, or are there other elements of progress not everyone is able to see from the outside? “Yes, there’s plenty. There’s been a lot of improvement within the team, a lot of progress made. It’s not finished either. There’ll be more in the future. Whatever the outcome in Abu Dhabi, we can be proud of our season.” What were the team’s challenges this year? “The same as always, getting the tires to work, getting the best of the car. Also, creating a nice car, developing it over the season and focusing on 2019, as well. There’s been quite a few.” What were the team’s strengths? “I’d say the atmosphere. It’s a real racing team. We’re focused on getting the best of the car and driving fast. There’s a great atmosphere, and everyone on the team really does their best to get us to where we want to go.” Is there a particular moment from this season that stands out the most for you? “Obviously, Austria was the best-ever result for the team. For me also, I’d say Germany. I enjoyed the race. Those last 10 laps were pretty awesome.” When the season starts, Abu Dhabi seems very far away, yet here we are. Has the season gone by quickly? “Very quickly. The second part of the season has just flown by.” As you head into the offseason, how much “off” is there, or is that just a misnomer because preseason testing tends to arrive quickly? “You’ve got a month-and-a-half with very little on, except your own physical preparation. You’re not doing things like sponsor events or going to the simulator. It’s not too bad. No complaints there. I’ll take a week or two off, not doing much, but the rest of the time will be dedicated to physical preparation.” What is the first thing you’ll do to begin the offseason? “Probably take my wife out to a nice restaurant.” Yas Marina Circuit is a showplace. What makes it stand out on the Formula One schedule? “It’s the show, the overall race view, the fact you start in the day and finish in the night, and the fact it’s been the finale for a few years now. It’s a very nice venue with superb facilities.”

Brazilian GP 2018 – Review

12 November 2018
“I’m very happy, and very happy for the team. With the damage we had on the car following lap one, I’m impressed. We lacked about a second of downforce on the car. Being able to do those lap times, I think we did an amazing job on the setup. I’m very happy with that. I think without that, being best-of-the-rest would’ve easily been on our side. I’m happy we finished eighth and ninth. Even if we’re far from Renault in the points, double-points finishes in the two last races would be amazing going into the winter.”

Brazilian GP 2018 – Advance

5 November 2018
In back-to-back weeks Haas F1 Team has made significant partnership announcements – first with PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid expanding its role with the team and then Rich Energy becoming title sponsor. What do these announcements say about the competitiveness and commercial viability of Haas F1 Team, especially considering the organization is only in its third year? “I think it’s very good news. I think a lot of teams are looking for big sponsors. The announcement of Rich Energy joining Haas F1 Team is really good news. It shows that the team is attractive to sponsors. Hopefully, these announcements are the first of many.” With only two races remaining, the midfield is as tight as ever, specifically among Haas F1 Team, Renault, McLaren and Force India. How would you characterize this battle, and do you find yourself looking at the time sheets to see where you stack up to the drivers on those teams? “We always look at the timesheet. The battle is quite tight, quite good. We lost a bit of ground at our home grand prix and in Mexico, which is a shame. We’re trying to make up for it, and we’ll be giving it 100 percent.” There’s no trophy for fourth place in the constructors’ standings, so why is it so coveted by teams outside of Mercedes, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull? “It’s got a big significance for us. Fourth or fifth would be a big achievement for Haas F1 Team in its third season of competition.” Haas F1 Team has proven quick at nearly every track it has raced on this year. Are there characteristics of the Interlagos circuit that you think will play into the strengths of the car and your strengths as a driver? “Yes. Interlagos should be a good grand prix for us. It’s a track I particularly like. I’m very much looking forward to going there.” Interlagos was resurfaced prior to the 2014 race. How much has the track changed since then and what do you expect this year with another year of weathering to the track surface? “The tarmac has been good but the curbs have been changed, which is a bit of a shame as it’s lost a bit of the spirit of Interlagos. Generally, it’s an amazing track. The tarmac – we now have a good understanding of it – so, hopefully, we’ll have a good weekend.” Interlagos appears to be a very physical track, and heat often plays a role in the performance of the car and the driver. Considering these variables, how do you attack the track? “It’s a pretty tough track with not much opportunity for a rest. Even in the straight lines you can’t rest as much as you would like. You’re at altitude as well, at 800 meters (2,625 feet), so coming from Mexico that’s nothing, but you’re still not at sea level. The weather can be challenging. It can be very warm and humid. It’s a pretty intense challenge

Mexican GP 2018 – Review

1 November 2018
“It’s been a very tough day. We didn’t get what we were expecting on the ultrasofts. On the supersofts, we made it as good as we could for as long as we could. We got the maximum out of the tire life. Then on the ultrasofts, we were having problems we were just not expecting. There was a lot of rear degradation. I decided to pit again under the final VSC (Virtual Safety Car). It didn’t make a difference in finishing with Kevin. It was very close. Just a tough day.”
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