Romain Grosjean believes Haas has the potential to be "surprisingly good" from the start of its debut F1 season.
Haas will enter the sport next year, with Grosjean moving from Lotus to join the new team alongside Esteban Gutierrez. While the team has had a close technical partnership with Ferrari, team owner Gene Haas believes the Haas chassis is "probably a better design" than what is being produced at Maranello due to different approaches.
While Grosjean played down such a comparison during an exclusive interview with F1i, he says Haas has the potential to shock some other teams.
“I’ve seen a little bit [of the Haas approach] before signing and then much more after signing," Grosjean said. "I think it’s a nice approach. Ferrari is Ferrari, I don’t think we’re going to beat them, don’t be crazy! But I think it could be surprisingly good.”
And Grosjean admits being closer to Ferrari is attractive to him as a driver, but says it is strong foundations the partnership allows Haas to have which is the biggest positive.
“Yeah it’s certainly the team that makes everyone dream. It’s the biggest team in Formula One, I think everyone who works in the sport - drivers, engineers, mechanics - would like to race for Ferrari. It’s certainly a step closer than I am right now.
"It’s more about the partnership, the fact that we use their windtunnel and simulator, the fact that we get their suspension, steering wheel, engine, gearbox - all the things that are complicated to produce - they are all fixed cost and we know what price we are going to get.
"The whole project seduced me and Gene has been successful in his life, very successful. He came to NASCAR and has been successful as well, he took his time but he knows it takes time and I just like all of that. I would like to be the French driver who puts the American team on top.”
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