Tag Archives: Romain Grosjean

Formula One: Mercedes elevate Haas in Qualifying

Screen Shot 2016-10-08 at 23.50.24.png

The Haas F1 team achieved their best qualifying positions of the season Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez qualifying 8th and 10th respectively for the Japanese Grand Prix earlier today.

The teams elevated positions on the grid can be in part attributed to continued concerns from Mercedes Powered teams around the reliability of their power unit following Lewis Hamilton’s engine failure at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Williams F1 team, whose drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas qualifying 12th & 11th confirmed they were using an older power unit (unit 3 of the allocated 5 per season) at the request of Mercedes.

It is understood similar precautions have been taken with at both Force India and Manor Racing. The Mercedes works team also confirmed neither Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg were permitted to run power units at fully optimised levels during qualifying. Completing qualifying in at reduced performance levels may explain why the gap to Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari was less than in recent qualifying sessions.

Non Mercedes powered teams can expect  similar cautionary actions to be taken in the race tomorrow, no doubt every effort will be taken by other teams to capitalise on this opportunity and apply pressure to the power unit dominating the series.

Formula One: 2nd Driver of the Day Award for Grosjean

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 19.04.41.png

Romain Grosjean has been awarded the Official Driver of the Day accolade for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Having taken the award following the Austrailian Grand Prix, Grosjean and the Haas F1 Team are clearly becoming fan favourites. The number of votes cast or ranking of other drivers has not been made available at this time. With much greater emphasis on the vote from social media commentators it can be expected participation levels will have significantly increased for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Links to future votes will be posted on this site.

Formula One: Points despite no pitstop for Grosjean in Melbourne

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 12.02.59.png

In the build up for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Guenther Steiner has pointed out a somewhat under reported element of Romain Grosjean’s point scoring race in Melbourne. Owing to the red flag period caused by the collision between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutiérrez, Grosjean was able to make the mandatory change of tyre compounds without actually making a pit stop. This element to the strategy was completely within racing regulations, and demonstrates ‘switched on’ thinking  from the Haas F1 team pitwall.

Guenther Steiner reviews the Australian Grand Prix and previews the Bahrain Grand Prix with some surprising insights:

Haas F1 Team now has its first grand prix under its belt. Obviously, it was highlighted by Grosjean’s sixth-place result, but how did it go overall and what can you take from Australia and apply to Bahrain?

“We had our ups and downs. It started out with not being able to get enough testing in on Friday during practice. We tried to make up for it on Saturday morning during third practice, but we had an incident with a car colliding with Romain (Grosjean) as he was exiting the garage. It started off not too pretty, and then qualifying was not what we wished for, but the team bounced back and we got ready for Sunday. We showed a good race speed and we are ready to go racing. In the end it was all positive. It was hard to get to the positive, but with a lot of work with a lot of hard-working people, we got there. Now the biggest task is to replicate this, which won’t be easy, but for sure we will be trying again.”

Upon your return to Haas F1 Team’s headquarters in North Carolina, were you able to get a sense of how the team’s Australia performance resonated in the United States?

“I think it resonated in a very positive way in all of racing in America. Even those who don’t follow Formula One considered it a big achievement for a new team to finish in sixth place and to be from America, which hasn’t had a presence in Formula One in 30 years.”

From the outside looking in, it appeared Haas F1 Team was taking a very unorthodox approach to building a Formula One team. And while that is relatively true, did the team’s performance in Australia vindicate your methodology, specifically in regard to partnering with Scuderia Ferrari and Dallara?

“I think our plan is working, but we won’t finish sixth every weekend, so we need to be careful with our expectations. I think we showed that you can start a new team and end up in the midfield. We were not last in Australia, which was one of our goals, and I don’t think we will be last this year. How far we’ve come is a sign that our plan is working.”

Haas F1 Team came out of the gate strong in the season-opener in Australia. History tells us not every grand prix will bring that kind of success. How do you manage expectations, internally and externally?

“We are not being arrogant about our early success and we will have our races where we will underperform. Our sixth-place finish in Australia keeps the team going, working very hard and trying to do the best possible job we can. If we continue to do what we did in Melbourne, good results will come.”

The flip side to Grosjean’s sixth-place finish at Australia was Gutiérrez getting caught up in a crash. There was a good bit of damage to the left-rear of Gutiérrez’s car. What needs to be done to repair it and what kind of logistics are involved to get it ready for Bahrain?

“Some of the parts, for example the chassis, were sent back to Europe to be checked and fixed because we can’t do it onsite in Bahrain. We have enough spare parts to build up another chassis, so we will use that. Then the chassis that is repaired will be sent to Bahrain via air to serve as our spare. The guys will have to work day and night to get to Bahrain, but it’s all doable. Our spare quantity is down, but we have enough to get going again, so we will just keep on working.”

Haas F1 Team seems to handle adversity extremely well – be it with technical issues during the second week of testing at Barcelona and when you endured a pit lane collision in practice Saturday at Australia. From your perspective, how well is this new group of personnel working together?

“We chose good, quality people. Nobody gets down in adversity. Everybody gets up. They are working on the solution, not on the problem. They work together because they are professionals and they know they can get it done together as a team. It all comes down to the quality of people, and I think our quality is pretty high.

With wet weather Friday at Australia, it compromised the team’s ability to work on the car’s setup for the race. The weather in Bahrain is usually pretty consistent, and that means consistently dry. How helpful will a full weekend of consistent weather be for you and the team?

“If we can get a good day of practice in with both cars and six hours of running, that will be fantastic just to learn more about this machine.”

With Gutiérrez’s lap-17 crash and Grosjean changing tires during the red flag, Haas F1 Team didn’t make any pit stops at Australia. How is the team preparing for pit stops and is there any worry that’s one element of the program that hasn’t really been tested?

“We didn’t complain that we didn’t have to do a pit stop in Australia, but we will have to do it in Bahrain, for sure. We will do a lot of things during practice in Bahrain to ensure that we are ready. We got away with not doing pit stops in Australia, but we won’t be able to in Bahrain. The focus will be on completing pit stops this weekend so the team goes into the race confident that they have trained properly.”

How did the addition of a third tire option impact your strategy for Australia, and what impact do you think it will have on your tire strategy for Bahrain?

“Everyone has the third tire option, so you just deal with it. I don’t think it has a huge impact because it’s the same for everybody. We just need to make sure we use the three options we’ve got to the best of our knowledge.”

Formula One: Grosjean gets driver of the day, but Haryanto gets the most votes!

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 12.07.33

Formula One have announced through social media that  Romain Grosjean has been awarded the inaugural driver of the day honour.

This despite indications ahead of the vote closing that he was sitting in second position behind Rio Haryanto. In confirming the award the F1 social media channel commented that multiple votes from the same user had been not been counted, this may account for change in overall results.

Without taking anything away from Romain, by far and away the most deserving of the accolade it was surprising to see how few votes were actually cast in the process. Hopefully as the season gathers pace a more representative number of votes will be cast in the process. The below twitter exchange explains how users were able to monitor the progress of the vote

In future it will be possible to cast your vote through this link

 

Formula One: Grosjean “This feels like a win”

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 12.07.33.png

The Haas F1 Team made history before and after the 32nd Australian Grand Prix Sunday in Melbourne.

The organization’s debut in Round 1 of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship marked the first time an American team had competed in Formula One since 1986. And after ending a 30-year drought for an American squad in Formula One, Haas F1 Team ended another drought for an organization’s maiden F1 race.

After starting 19th, Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean finished an impressive sixth, earning the team eight points in the constructor standings. The last time a Formula One team scored points in its debut race was in the 2002 Australian Grand Prix when Mika Salo finished sixth for Toyota.

The fortunate outcome was due in part by the misfortune of Grosjean’s teammate, Esteban Gutiérrez, who was taken out of the race in a spectacular accident involving McLaren driver Fernando Alonso. On lap 17 while entering turn three of the 5.303-kilometer (3.295-mile), 16-turn circuit, Alonso moved to the outside of Gutiérrez in an attempt to overtake. Alonso’s right-front wheel touched Gutiérrez’s left-rear wheel. The impact launched Alonso into the air and sent Gutiérrez spinning into the gravel trap. Alonso clipped the outside retaining wall and then sailed over the gravel trap. His splintered car ended up on its side against another wall, whereupon Alonso climbed out. Gutiérrez quickly came to check on his fellow driver, and the two walked away unscathed from the harrowing accident.

With debris littering the track, officials displayed the red flag. The field came to pit lane where the cars were stopped, and the only work teams could do to their cars was change tires. Opportunity knocked and Haas F1 Team answered.

After starting the race on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow softs, the team took advantage of the red flag and changed Grosjean’s tires to the Pirelli P Zero White mediums. While the mediums did not have nearly as much grip as the softs, they also did not wear out as fast. When the race went back to green, Grosjean was good to go the distance without pitting. His strategy was to outlast and outrun as many of his counterparts as possible. He succeeded, with only five drivers finishing ahead of him, all of whom belonged to race teams with decades of experience. The sixth-place finish was worth eight points, placing Haas F1 Team fifth in the constructor standings.

Romain Grosjean

“A very good day at the office. This feels like a win. For all the guys who worked so hard over the last few weeks, this is unbelievable. We were unlucky yesterday, but got a bit lucky today with the red flag. Still, we were able to hold off the Williams (Valtteri Bottas) and the Force India (Hulkenberg). We didn’t have much set-up (time) on the car. It was a case of, off you go and see what happens. This is an unbelievable feeling. The guys did an amazing job and I told them, this is like a win for all of us. First race and here we are, P6. A happy day.”

Esteban Gutiérrez

“It’s not the race I was hoping for. However, the most important thing is that Fernando and I are both OK. The car was handling well and the results show we can be very competitive. Romain did a great job for the team. To achieve points in our first race is fantastic. I’m now looking ahead and focusing on Bahrain. I can’t wait to get back out racing.”

Guenther Steiner

“First, the good thing is that Esteban and Fernando were not injured. It was unfortunate for our results, but I think a sixth-place finish makes up for it, and I’m sure Esteban will come back strong in Bahrain. Romain and the team did a great job and a big thanks goes to everyone for working so hard in the months leading up to our first race. Yesterday I said I was looking forward to the race, but to finish it in the points is a dream come true. Now we move forward and on to Bahrain.”

Gene Haas

“A lot of people have contributed to this, so we have to thank all the people, starting with Guenther Steiner (team principal) who put all this together and kept pushing me to go out and try this. The Ferrari people have been excellent. They’ve helped us a lot. Dallara helped us build the chassis. We’ve got a great sponsor in Haas Automation. It’s all great.

“There’s a new F1 team on the block and it’s an American F1 team, so we’re real proud of that. But these other teams are pretty dang good at what they do. I wouldn’t sit here and say we’re going to be in front of them all the time, but today was a good day.

“Obviously, the chassis, aero, engine – they all work. That’s what’s really important. That’s why we took the extra year to work on that. The car is a very stable platform. We’ve kind of known that since (testing in) Barcelona. There’s been a lot of little gremlins and technical issues, but I think the fundamental chassis will be awesome for us.

“Grosjean had a heck of a challenge there. They made the decision to go on the mediums for 39 laps, so that was really pushing it. He basically didn’t chew up his tires initially, so he was able to get 39 laps out of them. I think near the end he was starting to pick up time on the person behind him. Tire strategy, saving your tires, those are the kinds of things that make a driver a legend.

“Grosjean just drove his heart out and did everything he could to keep it up there and it worked out. When (Nico) Hulkenberg was behind him I thought he might catch him, but he held him off and we actually started to make some time. He was saving fuel near the end, so I think once we got to the last few laps and we started to push a little harder, the car really responded.

“This is racing. It’s what we do for a living and, you know, it’s cool. But I’ll tell you, there’ll be some bad days too, so we’ll enjoy this one.”

 

 

Formula One – Letter of Intent Signed between Group Renault & Gravity Motorsports – Lotus F1 Team

Press Release

Renault have this morning confirmed signature on a letter of intent regarding the potential acquisition of the Lotus F1 team. At this time there has been no formal public response from the Lotus F1 Team of Gravity Motorsport, but it is likely this notification will lead to the sale of the team which should serve to resolve the immediate cash flow issues faced by the team.

In the short press release from Group Renault, a keen emphasis is placed on the long association Renault have with Formula One, it can be expected this history will place a significant role in the rebranding of the Enstone based team.

The announcement makes no reference to the relationship between Red Bull Racing and Renault, with the latter formally under supply agreement for 2016. Further news on this should be expected in the coming days and weeks.  No mention has been made around the Power Unit the team will use in 2016, logically it can be assumed the team will run the Renault unit, despite agreements in place with Mercedes Benz. Renault have elected to focus power unit developments on the 2016 program rather than introducing upgrades through the token system in 2015, no doubt significant strides will be made in 2016 regarding performance and reliability.

Sponsors and Driver Line up developments will be of particular interest, with Renault likely to transfer Infiniti and Total Agreements from Red Bull Racing to the Renault team.

Pastor Maldonardo has been announced as a 2016 driver for the Lotus F1 team, the Venezuelan brings substantial national backing to team in the form of PDVSA branding. It will be interesting to see if the team which will act under a new legal entity maintain this contracted commitment.

Romain Grosjean is expected to announce his departure from the team on tomorrow moving to the newly formed Haas F1 team. Possible replacements include Esteban Ocon & Jolyon Palmer. It should also be noted with the possible departure of Red Bull Racing from the sport Daniel Riccardo, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz may also be seeking a seat in 2016.