The Haas Formula 1 team has announced Romain Grosjean as one of its two drivers for the 2016 season.
“What everyone at Haas F1 Team is building is impressive, and I’m very proud to be a part of it”, said Grosjean at a press conference at the Haas team’s North Carolina base.
Grosjean joins the Ferrari powered team Lotus, where he has driven for year.
The 29-year-old Frenchman, despite an error-prone start to his grand prix career, is recognised as one of the best drivers on the grid.
“From what I’ve seen we should be able to run straight away, I think it will be good to score a few points early in the season”. “I like the partnership with Ferrari and the way things have been going”.
Haas F1 will be the first American-led Formula One team since 1986. Well, it’s no secret he would love to one day drive for Ferrari, and with Haas’ close ties with Ferrari, the move could potentially set him up for the future.
Haas said there had been pressure to sign an American driver but, with Alex Rossi only this month becoming the first US racer in Formula One since 2007, the team needed someone more experienced.
“Our primary objective here is to show that as an American manufacturer that we can compete in the most hard, competitive series in the world of auto racing”.
Grosjean joins Haas, who will make their grand prix debut at the season opener in Australia next year, after four seasons at Lotus. He fits that bill perfectly and we were kind of surprised, I’m a little surprised, that we got a driver with the experience that he brings to our team because it’s going to be a real challenge. Both Esteban Gutierrez and Jean-Eric Vergne raced in 2014 and are now cooling their race boots in Maranello, waiting for another opportunity.
Grosjean, a Frenchman, departs a Lotus team beset by financial problems.
Despite a new engine formula last year that returned turbochargers to the sport for the first time since 1988, Grosjean regularly outpaced his teammate throughout the year and recorded eighth-place finishes in Spain and Monaco.
He will link up with the Haas F1 team which is the brainchild of Gene Haas, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.