Haas isn’t in F1 to finish in the middle, says Grosjean

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-18 makes a pit stop.
© XPB 

Romain Grosjean believes that Formula 1 would be a better place if there were more small teams like Haas coming into the sport determined to make it big.

Grosjean has been with the American squad ever since it made its first appearance on the grid in 2016. It's made progress in every season since, and was fifth in the 2018 constructors championship.

“Haas is one of the things that make F1 great,” Grosjean said, in a column he wrote for The Players’ Tribune.

“The team is filled with determined goal-setters, out-of-the-box technical thinkers - and yes, even crazy dreamers!

“I’m lucky to be a part of this team. F1 needs more teams like Haas," he insisted, adding that it didn't matter if the team wasn't yet in a position to content for race wins or titles.

"F1 can seem like a sport where the underdogs have so little chance, and I know as much as anyone that it can be like that," he said.

"There are two or three teams that have the personnel and the budget to have a realistic chance at winning races consistently.

"That’s just the way it is. It’s not good, or bad, it’s just like that. It can make life in the middle a little tricky.

"We know, at Haas, how tough the task is in the next few years if we want to be up there with the big dogs.

“But I know this: Gene Haas isn’t in F1 to finish in the middle. And that’s why I’m so excited about our future. I’m excited for this winter, for testing, to see the new car. Because I believe in us.

Grosjean also wrote about how far the team had come in just three seasons, compared to a somewhat shambolic start to their début in Melbourne that turned out to have a fairy tale ending.

“Our first Grand Prix in Australia in 2016 was chaotic,” Grosjean admitted. "We didn’t get a lot of laps in pre-season testing so we had barely any info on the car going into Melbourne.

2018 Australian Grand Prix: Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-18.

"Then it rained on Friday, so no laps. We didn’t even know if the radio worked!" he continued. “On Saturday, we finally got out of the garage and someone hit us in the pit lane. We had to change the floor of the car and we missed even more time.

“Then qualifying was a disaster because F1 had implemented that new, ridiculous elimination-style qualie that ended up getting removed a few weeks later.

“But then Sunday happened. And the race ended, and we were in sixth place. P6. In the points. Unbelievable. Truly amazing," he said. "Beforehand, we thought we might be lucky to finish the race.

“When I look back on my career, I’ll think of that day right away. I love that story. I loved that weekend."

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