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2019/09/22 14:10:00

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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Haas F1 Team confirms Grosjean for 2020 season

19 September 2019
Haas F1 Team will enter the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship fielding a retained driver lineup of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. Grosjean and Magnussen will be partnered together at the American outfit for a fourth straight year as the team prepares for its fifth season competing in Formula One. Grosjean joined at the inception of the squad in 2016 with Magnussen signing on from 2017. The duo has combined to score a total of 166 points since pairing together in 2017 and last season their joint efforts helped Haas F1 Team to finish fifth overall in the constructors’ championship with 93 points – the Kannapolis-based outfit’s best placing to-date. “Experience, and the need for it, has been one of the cornerstones of Haas F1 Team, and with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen racing for the team in 2020, we continue to have a driver lineup that offers us a solid platform to continue our growth. Their understanding of how we work as a team, and our knowledge of what they can deliver behind the wheel, gives us a valued continuity and a strong foundation to keep building our team around. It’s been a tough year for us in 2019 with the fluctuation in performance of the VF-19, but our ability to tap into our combined experiences will help us learn, improve, and move forward as a unit in 2020,” said Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team. 2019 has proved to be a testing campaign for Haas F1 Team with Grosjean and Magnussen scoring just 26 points heading into the weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix – the team currently placed ninth in the standings with seven rounds remaining. Their first season together in 2017 saw Grosjean and Magnussen amass 47 points – scoring Haas F1 Team’s first double-points finishes along the way in Monaco and Japan. This allowed the team to equal its eighth-place finish in the championship from its debut season in 2016. Fifth in the points followed in 2018 including the squad’s best overall race finish at the Austrian Grand Prix, with Grosjean taking the checkered flag fourth followed by Magnussen in fifth. Grosjean’s fifth consecutive season with Haas F1 Team in 2020 will also mark the 33-year-old Frenchman’s ninth full-time season competing in Formula One. With 10 career podium finishes to his credit and a veteran of 157 Grand Prix starts, Grosjean scored all 29 points for Haas F1 Team in its inaugural 2016 season and has totaled 102 of the team’s overall points tally of 195. “I’ve always stated that it was my desire to remain with Haas F1 Team and keep building on the team’s accomplishments,” Grosjean said. “Having been here since the very beginning and seen the work both Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner put into the team to make it competitive, I’m naturally very happy to continue to be a part of that. To finish fifth in the constructors’ championship last season in only the team’s third year of competing was something

2019 Singapore Grand Prix – Preview

16 September 2019
What are the challenges of the Marina Bay Street Circuit and how do you overcome them? “The main challenge is that we live by the night, so you don’t get much sunlight. That catches up with you a little bit by the end of the week.” Singapore is one of only three night races on the Formula One schedule, but it’s also the original night race. Do you like competing at night?  “I like it. I think it’s really good fun, and it looks good on the TV footage. Seeing that snake of lights through the city is really cool. In terms of spectating, I think it’s really good. You can enjoy the day in Singapore and then watch the race in the evening.” Because the Singapore Grand Prix is at night, is there a heightened sense of speed? “Not really, it doesn’t change much. The lights are really well done. For us, it’s almost easier to have almost the same light throughout the circuit.” Singapore’s layout forces drivers to run close to the track’s walls for the majority of a lap. While the margin for error is always low in Formula One, is it even lower at Marina Bay Street Circuit? “That’s a definite yes. It’s like Monaco. There are a couple of laps in qualifying where you really push your luck and the limits. The rest of the time you need to respect the circuit.” There are 23 turns at Marina Bay Street Circuit, the most of any Formula One venue. Which ones are the most treacherous and why? “All of them. It’s really a challenging track. There isn’t any particular corner that is harder than any other. They’re really all very challenging.” Between the bumpy track surface and the heat, how physically taxing is the Singapore Grand Prix and what do you do to prepare for it? “It’s definitely the hardest circuit in terms of temperature, heat, concentration and length. The race normally goes to the two-hour time limit. That’s a big challenge with Singapore. I don’t really do anything special to prepare for it. I just keep my routine and try to go there as fresh as I can.”

2019 Italian Grand Prix – Preview

3 September 2019
In the series’ most recent race in Belgium, Rich Energy Haas F1 Team returned its cars to a single aero spec. After running its two cars in different aero specs in the three races prior to Belgium, how helpful was it to have both cars theoretically bringing back the same data? “Well, I don’t think we had a choice for the low-downforce races, but I was actually quite happy with the package. We’re working in a good direction as a team. I think we now have a really clear understanding of what’s happening and what we need to do for the future, so that’s positive.” The summer shutdown is always welcomed by the Formula One industry, but how good was it to get back in your racecar at Spa? And more specifically, what do you want to achieve in this last stretch of races before the season concludes? “I really enjoy jumping back in a car – it’s a great feeling, especially at Spa-Francorchamps. It’s one of the most amazing circuits in the world. That was super cool. Obviously, you come fresh from the summer break, which always helps, but I really enjoyed it. For the final stretch of the season, we’ll try to get every opportunity we can. It’s not always going to be easy to be in the points, but every time we can, we will try.” Monza, like Spa, is a circuit steeped in the heritage of Formula One, with the Italian Grand Prix also marking the end of the European schedule. As a driver, are you able to appreciate and soak in the atmosphere at such iconic venues, and do you feel some of the newer events on the calendar, such as Singapore, Austin and Abu Dhabi are developing a level of history and heritage for themselves? “Spa, Monza, Monaco, Barcelona and Silverstone – they’re very historic tracks where we feel the history. Some of the new tracks are getting there. I feel Austin is great, Singapore is great also. You can now tell that Formula One has been there over a few years – that people get a sense for it and really enjoy it.” The Tifosi are a renowned part of the spectacle at the Italian Grand Prix with their passionate support of the home team, Scuderia Ferrari. How would you describe your fan base and what are your own fan highlights from being in Formula One? “The fans are great. They really give you a lot of support and admiration. Obviously, the Spa weekend was very hard for everybody, but the whole motorsport community came together – drivers, teams, marshals, officials and fans. It was really something unique. The fans are important, and they can really help you through tough times. It’s always great to have them.”

2019 Belgian Grand Prix – Preview

27 August 2019
The midfield is still tight, as evidenced by fifth-place Toro Rosso being 17 points away from Rich Energy Haas F1 Team. Can a run up the constructors’ ranks still happen in these last nine races? “Yes, anything can happen – that’s why you should never give up. We’re going to do our best, obviously, but on paper things are a bit more complicated than they were last year. But again, with a good summer break and a good understanding of our issues, we could be back on target for a really good points finish, just like Austria last year where we scored 22 points in one event.” Does it almost feel like a new season when we show up at Spa after the summer shutdown because everyone has had the chance to rest and regroup to focus on these final nine races?  “It maybe doesn’t feel like a new season, but it does feel like a fresh start. It’s always good because everyone’s well-rested and ready to attack the second part of the season.” Rain in Germany provided Formula One the opportunity to have a standing start on a wet track. It seemed race control did a thorough job of getting real-time feedback from drivers, and then the start took place without any major dramas. How did it all go from your standpoint, and knowing the weather is often a prominent fixture at Spa, could a wet standing start take place again? “I think it works in the wet. It worked quite well in Germany. Obviously, when you’re in the midfield it’s tricky because you don’t see much. We’ve seen some on-boards of the guys at the back and, really, it was difficult to see. Even though I was toward the front, I couldn’t see much. I thought it was quite good for the show. It was a good procedure there.” Spa has been called a driver’s track. Why? “Probably because of the layout of the corners and the high-speed part of the track. It just has a good variety overall and it gives you a good feeling to drive.” Spa is one of Formula One’s classic tracks. Much has been made of next year’s schedule, as well as future schedules, specifically balancing classic tracks like Spa with new venues like next year’s race in Vietnam. What’s your take on this issue, and what is the proper balance between holding onto Formula One’s history and crafting Formula One’s future? “It’s not an easy task and I don’t really have a proper answer. The only thing I can say is that for the teams, the European races are easier as most of them are based there. Losing Spain or Germany would be a bit sad, just because they’ve been here for a long time with good histories, and the tracks are quite cool. Obviously, you always know what you lose and you don’t know what you gain, but maybe what we gain is better, maybe it’s worse. Personally, I think every driver
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