Having ended his long affiliation with the Lotus team (formerly Renault) Grosjean believes Haas is the next logical step in his quest to become a race-winner and world champion.
“I like the fact it’s different to what a normal F1 team would do, and it’s an approach that could be pretty successful”.
Romain Grosjean says the partnership between Haas F1 and Ferrari was one of the key reasons behind his decision to join the new American outfit for 2016.
“We’re kind of surprised to get a driver of his experience to the team and he’s going to work a lot harder than he thinks”, team founder and chairman Gene Haas said.
“I like his style of being more reserved and just keeping your foot on the throttle and rolling in-and-out of the throttle and smoothly going through a turn as opposed to an aggressive driver”, Haas said.
Grosjean is hoping the closeness of the Haas-Ferrari partnership minimises the risk he is taking in joining a brand new team – certainly compared to F1’s last newcomers back in 2010. He has finished on the podium 10 times in 78 Formula 1 races, including six in 2013 and a recent third-place finish at the Belgian Grand Prix in August. “While I am committed to giving my absolute best to my current team in these last five races, I am very excited for what the future holds at Haas F1 Team“.
The Frenchman will first drive with Haas next March 1-4 at a pre-season test on Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya with a second test at the Spanish layout March 15-18 before the 2016 season opener on April 3 at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Several big names are associated with the team already, with Germany’s Gunther Steiner, former technical director at Jaguar and Red Bull Racing, to join as team principal.
“A rookie driver with a rookie team isn’t a good fit”, he said.
The occupant of the second seat at the team has yet to be revealed, and there are high profile candidates linked with it. Ferrari reserve Esteban Gutierrez is one, as is McLaren reserve Kevin Magnussen.
Haas F1is acquiring its engines from Ferrari and chassis from Dallara. Before there can be any talk of Ferrari, Grosjean must take a team that has never started a grand prix and make them competitive. He has been in Formula One for many years and is an excellent driver for Lotus.
In developing his team, Haas said: “Our direction was to do whatever it takes”.
Grosjean was in North Carolina Tuesday for the announcement and tweeted his thanks to his new team and his fans.