Romain Grosjean quotes ahead of Brazilian Grand-Prix

Romain Grosjean quotes ahead of Brazilian Grand-Prix

07.11.2016: F1 Brazilian Grand-Prix Romain GROSJEAN, HAAS F1 driver Formula One comes into Brazil after two massively

F1 Brazilian Grand-Prix 
Romain GROSJEAN, HAAS F1 driver




Formula One comes into Brazil after two massively successful, well-attended race weekends in the United States and Mexico. What was your takeaway from those two race weekends and what does it say about the health of the sport and also its popularity in North America?



“I think the amount of spectators at those two races says it all. People didn’t just like it, they loved it. They obviously enjoyed being there. I think a lot of places could learn from them.



The U.S. and Mexico did a fantastic job in promoting their events and that’s why they had the kind of attendance they did.



 I take my hat off to both of them. F1 is popular globally and the U.S. and Mexico did a very good job of harnessing that popularity to make their races as strong as they were.”
 




Last year, the top-three finishers of the Brazilian Grand Prix used a three-stop strategy. What needs to happen to make a three-stop strategy work over a typical, two-stop strategy?


“It mainly comes down to what tires you have available, but what you learn in each practice session provides the conclusion of what is best to do in the race. It’s difficult to say a week before the race what you’re going to do.



What you learn in FP1 and FP2 on Friday allows you to determine what your strategy should be. You’re able to fine tune it a bit on Saturday in FP3 to where you have a good plan for the race with multiple options for multiple scenarios.”
 
 


Formula One comes into Brazil after two massively successful, well-attended race weekends in the United States and Mexico. What was your takeaway from those two race weekends and what does it say about the health of the sport and also its popularity in North America?



“It was really good to be racing in the U.S. It was the first home race for the team and it was special. We managed to score a point, which was pretty awesome. There is a lot of love for Formula One in America and also in Mexico.



The Mexican fans are some of the best in the world. I think the U.S. market is growing and growing. If we keep having good results, and if we get more races there, we should have a really strong base of fans.”
 




After showing consistent speed throughout the Japanese Grand Prix three races ago, the past two races – the United States Grand Prix and the Mexican Grand Prix – were a struggle for Haas F1 Team. What makes one weekend like Japan so good and other weekends like what you experienced in the United States and Mexico so challenging?



“It could be the characteristics of the track, the layout, the tarmac, the way we work the tires. We are analyzing all of the things that have happened to us over the last few races.



We’ve gone from having a really strong performance to then being nowhere in qualifying but OK in the race, to the last race where we couldn’t get anything right, either from an engineering standpoint or from a driving perspective.



As a leader I should have been able to help the team more and find a solution, but we didn’t. We want to do better, and we can do better.”
 




Whenever Formula One travels to Brazil, Ayrton Senna’s legacy is prominent. Of all his races, is there one that stands out for you?



“Brazil is always special because of Ayrton Senna. He was one of the biggest names in Formula One. Interlagos is a special place. There’s so much history there. On raceday you’ve got so much support from the fans.



 I remember Ayrton winning there in 1991 when he couldn’t hold the trophy in the air because he was so tired and had the pain in his arms from driving.”
 





Interlagos was resurfaced prior to the 2014 race. How much did the track change from that 2014 race to 2015, and what do you expect this year with another year of weathering to the track surface?


“We’ll see. We were expecting Mexico to have changed from one year to the next one, but it did not. Brazil stayed pretty consistent between 2014 and 2015. They changed the curbs in 2015, which was a bit of a shame, especially at Interlagos where you have those massive green and white curbs.



You really used them a lot with the car, and that’s not the case anymore. That’s cost a little bit of the spirit of the track but, nonetheless, it’s a great track to drive.”
 




It’s a short and intense lap around Interlagos, and it’s also one of just a few tracks that you run anticlockwise. Does the direction of a track’s lap make much of a difference to you, or is a lap a lap, no matter the venue?



“A lap is a lap. To be fair though, you know it’s Interlagos and you’re running anticlockwise because of the long pit straight and the long left-hand corner. It hurts your neck muscles more than normal. That said, a lap is a lap. You just flow through the corners, racing onto the next one.”
 





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?


“It’s a pretty tough track with not much opportunity for a rest. Even in the straight lines you can’t rest as much as you would like. You’re at altitude as well, at 800 meters (2,625 feet), so coming from Mexico that’s nothing, but you’re still not at sea level.



The weather can be challenging. It can be very warm and humid. It’s a pretty intense challenge but, at the end of the day, that’s what we’re looking for.”
 




Last year, the top-three finishers of the Brazilian Grand Prix used a three-stop strategy. What needs to happen to make a three-stop strategy work over a typical, two-stop strategy?



“I think it’s the tire degradation and the tire delta time between the different compounds. Let’s say you’ve got a soft tire, which is much faster than the medium, but degrades quite quickly, then you’re better with three stops.




If you run the medium, and the pace that it brings compared to the soft is favorable, and the degradation is low, then you should go for two stops. That’s how it’s calculated.”
 





What is your favorite part of the Autódromo José Carlos Pace?



“It’s so tight and so tiny that I don’t think you can separate one area to be a favorite.”
 




Describe a lap around the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.



“You go onto the pit straight and then big braking to go to the Senna ‘S’. Very tricky turn in on the left-hand side. You really want to be well placed for the right turn two, which sets you up for turn three and the second straight.



Big braking to turn four, left-hand side, 90 degrees, a pretty good corner. Then you get to the middle part – turn five is a high-speed corner going up the crest. It’s tricky. Then it’s turn six and the hairpin on the right-hand side. We can’t use the curb as much as we used to.



Turn seven is a left-hand side corner, no braking, just a lift off. It’s a bit of a strange one. The second hairpin is then on the right-hand side, a second high-speed corner going down the hill, prior to the last turn.




It’s a left-hand corner where you really want to go early on the throttle because you’re facing a wall to go up to the finish line.”
 
 
 

- Mike Arning -   photo Haas F1

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07.11.2016 / MaP

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