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AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX

2020/07/05 15:10:00

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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2020 Australian Grand Prix – Preview

9 March 2020
Reflecting on testing, and the fact it was two days shorter than previous years, what was the impact of that condensed running on your test preparations? “I thought it was both interesting and exciting. We had a lot of laps to do in a short amount of time. On my first day of testing I did 158 laps of driving and I certainly felt it in my body a little bit. It’s also good after the winter to get a lot of mileage done. I did enjoy the condensed element.” How much input do you as a driver have in setting the test-plan for each day and does that evolve over the pre-season test based on your time accumulated in the new car? “First of all, we have to discover the new car. We have to try to see what the positives and negatives are. Then we work on the test program. Obviously, it’s going to evolve a little bit over the running days, subject to any issues we have and the time of any changes, as well as how much running we want to do. It’s really a team effort between the engineers and the drivers to see what the best thing is to do and what we want to test to be ready for the season.” The Australian Grand Prix hasn’t rewarded you particularly well over the years – the notable exceptions being 2016 and an incredible sixth place finish on Haas F1 Team’s debut, along with five top 10 qualifying starts. What are your thoughts on the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit and why the race has produced mixed results for you over the years? “I love the Albert Park circuit and I love Australia and the city of Melbourne. To me it’s one of the best races of the season. I’m happy to go down to Australia every year. I’ve had some good qualifying sessions there, I’ve always been pretty much in the top 10, with a couple of exceptions. The races, yes, my luck hasn’t been good in Australia. I’ve got the feeling things will be different this year and I’m looking forward to it.” Melbourne is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a Formula One venue – what’s your first memory of watching Formula One in Melbourne, and other than your own personal highlights there, what other moments in Formula One stand out for you from Melbourne’s heritage? “I don’t remember a lot of races from Melbourne, I guess because of the time difference when I was younger. I do remember, I think it was Sebastien Bourdais’ debut, every car was dropping out and he got into the top six. He didn’t even finish the race, he retired something like two laps from the end but was still classified in seventh. Australia in the past has always been quite entertaining because cars were having issues and the reliability was not as good as it is today. There were always a lot of retirements and so you

2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Preview

25 November 2019
Abu Dhabi is the season finale, and it’s also the finale of Haas F1 Team’s fourth year. It’s been a tumultuous one, but as the adage goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. With the adversity the team has faced this season, do you actually feel stronger going into 2020 because of how this year’s experiences have forced the team to adapt and troubleshoot? “Yes, the team is getting stronger year on year. Obviously, we had three years where we improved each season. This year – our fourth – it’s been a disappointing season in terms of performance. That doesn’t mean that all the work we’ve done behind the scenes isn’t great. As I’ve said many times, the team has been working very well and we’ve got the maximum, if not more than the maximum, of the car most of the time. We need to see the positives, and that’s that we’ve gotten stronger. We’ve been able to analyze more and we’ve been able to get ready for 2020.” Did this year produce a silver lining in relation to next year in that when it comes to car development, you know which direction not to go in 2020 and that you’re also part of a team that is a little more battle-tested? “Yes, I think this year was positive in that we’ve learned where not to go. We’ve learned what we need to look for. We’ve learned that communication needs to be key. This year, the feeling was that from Barcelona, things obviously didn’t go as expected. Maybe if we’d reacted earlier, things could have been different. That’s something we’ve learned this year and, as I’ve said, that’s the first time we’ve been in this situation. It’s not easy to adjust and to know what to do, but now we’re much better prepared for the future. I’m very much looking forward to 2020.” What is the first thing you’ll do to begin the offseason? “I’m going on holiday with my wife. We haven’t had the chance to spend as much time together as we’d have liked. Then after our holiday, we’re into Christmas with the kids and so on. We’ll be spending two weeks off with them and making sure they get the time back from their daddy ,which they didn’t get with all the traveling we have.” When it comes to your physical training, do you take a little break during the offseason or is the offseason a time where you ramp it up? “I like to ramp it up, to push it hard. Obviously, knowing your body is very important, and you know that rest is part of training. So, I will take some rest, but I love training and I love activity in the winter. I go cross-country skiing, hit the skating rink, I train on the bike and in the gym. I work on getting fit for the new season, making sure I’ve not left anything on the side when it comes to being ready

2019 Brazilian GP – Preview

11 November 2019
While you’re finishing the 2019 season and simultaneously preparing for the 2020 season, the new technical regulations for 2021 have finally been announced. The 2021 cars will look different and perform different. What is your take on the 2021 car’s aesthetics and its expected performance? “I think they look cool. I think they look futuristic without being away from what Formula One has been known for as a racecar. I’m very happy with the way they look. Performance-wise, we’ll need to wait and see what the track brings, and if it’s got all the desired effects. Generally, I’m pleased with what I’ve seen so far.” All of these changes should allow a trailing car to keep roughly 85 percent of its downforce compared to the 45 percent of downforce a trailing car gets with the current regulations. Can you explain how this added downforce will allow you more of an opportunity to attack and, ultimately, pass the car in front of you? “At the moment, every time you get behind a car you lose a lot of downforce, then you slide. It’s something you expect, but then the surface of the tires overheat and you completely lose grip. You can’t attack. If we don’t lose so much downforce then, hopefully, the tires won’t overheat as much, and therefore we’ll be able to stay closer and get more passing. That’s the idea and it should be OK.” The potential downside to the 2021 rules package is that the cars get 25 kilograms heavier, going from 743 kilograms to 768 kilograms. Does this mean that while the on-track action will theoretically be closer, will the speeds be slower than they are now, or will teams eventually refine their racecars enough to where they are faster than the car of today? “Formula One cars are the fastest on Earth, so I think if we lose a couple of seconds a lap, but for better racing, I don’t think that’s the end of the world. We’ve got to see the big picture here.” 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? “São Paulo is one of my favorite tracks on the calendar. I think it’s really good and I’m very much looking forward to going there. It’s an anti-clockwise layout, so it does affect your neck, especially on Friday, but the body adapts very quickly. I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

2019 United States Grand Prix – Preview

29 October 2019
As a driver for the only American team in Formula One, what’s it like to compete in the United States Grand Prix?  “It gives me a lot of pride. It’s a great pleasure. Obviously, having an American team in Formula One returning in 2016, 30 years since the previous one, it was big. Every year we see great support in the United States. I have the French Grand Prix as a home race, but also the United States Grand Prix is a very special one. I’m very much looking forward to it. We see a lot of support. Even though it’s not always been our best race, in terms of results, we always give it the maximum we can. We’ll do the same again this year and, hopefully, make our fans proud.” This weekend, your team owner, Gene Haas, will have his Formula One team competing in Austin, Texas, and his NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing, competing three hours north in Fort Worth, Texas. How much do you pay attention to the goings-on with Stewart-Haas Racing, and how helpful is to have a team owner who is so well versed in motorsports?  “I pretty much follow all the NASCAR results. It’s very exciting and the team’s been doing well this year. Obviously, the playoffs is the time it gets very sexy, but I’m always keeping an eye on Stewart-Haas Racing. Having Gene Haas, knowing racing, knowing how it works, helps us a lot. He understands things cannot always go directly as we would like, and he’s been very helpful in our building of the Haas team. Obviously, NASCAR and Formula One are different, but he gets the big picture, and that is helping us a lot.” Since Haas F1 Team’s debut, you’ve talked about wanting to drive a stock car. Thursday at COTA, you’ll finally get your chance, with instruction from three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart. Do you have any idea what it will be like to drive a 3,200-pound (1,451-kilogram) Ford Mustang around COTA? “No, not really. I think we just need to slam the brakes a bit earlier than we do with a Formula One car. We’ll see how the engine responds to throttle application. I can’t wait. The sound of it’s going to be great. I think it’s going to be a good experience. I think having Tony Stewart helping us and giving us advice is going to be bloody amazing.” What’s the closest thing to a stock car you’ve driven, and when was it? “I guess it would be the Ford GT1 car I drove in 2010 in the FIA GT1 Championship.” You equaled your career-best Formula One finish (second) at COTA in 2013. Talk about that race and any moments that stand out, particularly the start where you managed to get away from the dominant Red Bulls. “The start was very special. I had a really good one. The Red Bulls were so much faster than we were. I
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