Grosjean expected Renault to struggle in 2016

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Romain Grosjean has said that he expected Renault to struggle in 2016, and that it had been one of the factors in why he had decided to leave the team and move to start-up squad Haas F1 this season.

"I felt Renault would have the year they are having, that it would be very difficult," he told Autosport magazine this week.

Grosjean initially raced for Renault in 2009, and after winning the 2011 GP2 championship he returned to the team full-time after it was rebranded Lotus. Mounting financial problems for the team in 2015 meant the Grosjean decided his future lay elsewhere, even before the squad was re-bought by Renault over the winter as a works team.

"There was an American team coming to Formula One and I thought if I can be there and make it successful, it’s going to be huge in the US.

"I was the first driver to score points for the team, and I could be the first to stand on the podium for the team and possibly win a race."

Haas is powered by Ferrari engines, and Grosjean's decision to join the Haas line-up was seen by many at the time as a stepping stone toward getting a full-time Ferrari seat in the future.

However, the French-Swiss driver said that this had been only a small part of his thinking when it came to making the decision to switch teams.

"It was more than thinking, 'If I go to Haas they’ve got a Ferrari engine so I can go to Ferrari,'" he insisted, while admitting that the news that Kimi Raikkonen would stay at Ferrari next season had nonetheless come as something of a disappointment to him.

"Ferrari will take the driver that suits them best, it doesn't matter if they come from Haas or anywhere else," he pointed out. "The best you can do is keep doing a good job, show you're consistent, try to get the car faster and always be there when they need you."

Grosjean added that he felt he'd made the right decision to move to Haas when he did, and that he hadn't want to be left thinking 'what if?' by opting to play safe.

"I feel good. I've felt welcome from day one, I feel like I can play a big role in the team, gain more experience and enjoy more good times."

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