Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean says his start set-up came from the simulator data which is not the normal way of setting-up the car.

In modern F1, limited testing hours mean that simulator work is part of a team’s routine. And, while he says the job frustrating and tiring, Haas’ Grosjean agrees that the work done on the sim can be highly beneficial, especially when an outfit hits trouble.

Haas has got Pietro Fittipaldi and Louis Deletraz, as the duo go through hours in the simulator, mainly at Dallara and some times at Ferrari. The American trialed a live sim session during 2019 Abu Dhabi GP – similar to how the big F1 teams do.

Fittipaldi undertook the work in the simulator on Friday, going through all the data from the cars of Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. The team were looking to see if it can be utilised in full effect from 2020 F1 season onward. It remains to be seen how it will shape up.

When talking about the increased simulator work, while agreeing to the benefits, Grosjean revealed that the start set-up he used in certain races in 2019, came from the simulator data as opposed to from on-track learning – which is the usual case.

“Firstly, Pietro and Louis have done a very good job in 2019 and I must say, it’s a very frustrating job, and can be very painful, and you finish the day, you are drained- pretty tired – not to say a bad word – so they’ve really done a good job,” said Grosjean to media including FormulaRapida.net.

“The last time I jumped in [the car], it was a very good step forward, so it was important we try the live simulator session in Abu Dhabi and use everything we can use this modern world. If you asked me personally if it is the right thing, I don’t think so.

“But if it’s the thing to move forward better, yes it is [the right thing]. Actually, I’ll tell you one thing, the start set-up that I am having on my car has come from the simulator. [It is] very different to the normal way we set up the car.”

Stressing more on the importance of simulator, Grosjean added: “It can help a fair bit, especially with the engine mileage, we have got plenty of time on track but we have got very little laps that count really tyre wise.

“You do one run with one set-up, and the next run you do, either you have got a different type of tyre or we have got a different condition. So, it is very hard to compare. If the sim works great, then there’s a lot more you can try and the turnaround is a lot faster.”

Going back to the topic of race starts, Grosjean tried different ways, as he couldn’t get it right as much as Magnussen did. “Kevin is just doing a good job on it. Romain said in the debrief that the guys need to work with him, because he just cannot handle the start,” summed up Guenther Steiner.

Here’s Guenther Steiner not blaming drivers for their issues

Here’s Romain Grosjean on his development strength which Guenther Steiner agreed

Here’s Romain Grosjean on seeing more pros for Haas than cons

Here’s Kevin Magnussen admitting of panic at Haas

Here’s Pietro Fittipaldi on seeking larger role with Haas

Key feels simulators important tool now to fill up lack of on-track F1 testing

The story was co-written by Duncan Leahy