Romain Grosjean quotes ahead the Barcelona pre-season test

Romain Grosjean quotes ahead the Barcelona pre-season test

15.02.2019: Romain GROSJEAN Rich Energy Haas F1 driver 8 You’ve documented much of your off-season activities across your popular social media feeds – what’s been

Romain GROSJEAN
Rich Energy Haas F1 driver 8




You’ve documented much of your off-season activities across your popular social media feeds – what’s been the highlight of your time away from the track this winter?



“Spending time with my family has been the highlight. I’ve been enjoying watching my two boys skiing, and watching my daughter growing up - we celebrated her first birthday on the 31st of December. I’ve been having a really good time with them all.”





Reflecting on 2018 for a moment, you proved to be somewhat of a qualifying specialist last season, with 16 Q3 appearances including a run of 11-straight locked in the top 10. Where does that level of consistency come from and is there something about the added pressure of a qualifying session that gets you going in terms of performance?



“I love qualifying. I think it’s a great exercise to get a good lap, a good time on the new tires, it’s where you go the fastest over the course of a weekend. It’s always super good. Saying that, with those 16 Q3 appearances, we had very good car last year and it performed very well. I hope we can try to beat that figure this year and do even better on the track.”






There was a lot of talk at last week’s Rich Energy Haas F1 Team livery unveil of the challenges faced by the team this year, including the pressure to build on last season’s fifth place finish in the constructors’ standings. Is that pressure real to you, and to the team, or is your approach at the start of each new season the same regardless of previous positioning?




“I don’t think it’s a pressure. I think it’s a positive that we had a really good season last year. We’ve grown and improved as a team. We know there are still areas where we can become better, and that’s something to really look forward to.



The team has been working really well, we had a good season, a good winter and there’s a lot of momentum going into 2019. I’m looking forward to driving the new car and seeing what we can do with it. I hope we can repeat, or even do better this time around.”






Rule changes for 2019 have been implemented with the aim of making the racing more competitive, in particular changes to the front and rear wings to increase the possibilities of overtaking by allowing cars to run closer than before with less aerodynamic disturbance. Share your thoughts on those rule changes and what you think you’ll see out on track.




“I think we’ll need to wait and see what’s happening out on track. It’s definitely a big challenge for the engineers, the front wing change was a big change for all of them. It looks quite simplistic compared to what we’re used to seeing. I really want to see what it’s like on track before saying anything positive or negative.”






A veteran of seven preseason tests now, how does your experience translate into making a test program successful? What elements do you bring to the table that aid the team during a crucial time where you’re chasing a combination of speed, reliability and mileage?




“It’s always the same thing. I think the first few laps are very important, it’s where you get the first feel of the car. You know then if you’ve got a good baseline, or if there’s going to be a lot of work needed. I’ve discovered a lot of cars, some good ones, some less so. I’m really looking forward to driving the VF-19.


Reliability is getting better year-on-year, so I hope again we do a good job with that. If we get the reliability it means we can get the mileage, which is very important going into the first race of the season. Then we’re trying to find some speed on the car, making sure we’re competitive.”
   




     
- Stuart Morrison, photo Haas

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15.02.2019 / MaP

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