Guenther Steiner and Romain Grosjean talk about each other and their partnership as Carlos Sainz, Sebastian Vettel add on the testing before 2021.
Guenther Steiner / Romain Grosjean:
With their association coming to end post the 2020 season, in the lead-up to the Bahrain GP weekend, Haas F1 chief Steiner was asked about Grosjean and if he was difficult to manage at points in their partnership. He agreed so, adding that he proved an asset too.
“Romain Grosjean can be very challenging at moments but when you get him on the right day and the right time he was a very big asset to the team and I think we have to thank him as well what he did for us,” Steiner said to media including Motorsport Network, Racefans.net, F1, BBC, Reuters, AMuS and more.
“He believed us at the beginning, he was with us five years, we showed that we believed in him as we could have let him go after three years, after four years, but we kept him because sometimes he can be Romain. I call it ‘being Romain’ – there is no word for it, which is tough to manage, but otherwise he was a great asset for the team and he will go into the history of Haas F1. He is a big part of it forever,” summed up Grosjean.
The Frenchman has been known to be a frequent crasher, with particularly unfavorable spells afflicting him in periods like throughout his career, notably with Haas in the 2018 season. When asked to comment on Steiner’s thoughts, Grosjean stated that difficult cars have been contributing factors in such instances.
“I don’t want to go into too much detail,” said Grosjean. “I think I’ve brought a fair bit to the team and I’ve had moments, yes, I’ve made mistakes – but who doesn’t? Also, when you have a poor car, you need to be able to drive to 105% to get anything good and when you drive to that level there is high chances you’re going to make mistakes.
“When you have a top car, you can drive at 99.8% and that means you’re more consistent. I’ve known both situations and that’s why I can say that.” Grosjean also argued that others have managed him to a greater degree of success than Haas has. “Am I difficult to manage? I don’t know. [But] some people did that very well with me in the past, so I guess it’s possible.”
Carlos Sainz / Sebastian Vettel:
Moving on to drivers changing teams post the 2020 F1 season, McLaren’s outgoing Carlos Sainz hinted at an interest in testing a car of Ferrari’s from 2018, ahead of his switch to the team in 2021. Currently, only 1.5 days of on-track testing for each driver is set to be allotted for testing of next year’s car, which the Spaniard says is insufficient.
Sainz may still pursue other methods of familiarisation with the team, but when the testing proposition was mooted he did not deny a desire to seek such a test. “Once I leave McLaren to be a Ferrari driver, there would be a lot of thinking behind the scenes to make sure I arrive to the test and to the first race as prepared as possible,” he began.
“Obviously that could be an option but I remain committed to McLaren and I don’t want to get distracted too much by what the future of January, February and March might bring. I can already tell you that one day and a half in an F1 car, these complex F1 cars, is not enough to prepare for an F1 season.
“You don’t get to know the tricks of the car, the steering wheel even though you do a lot of simulator, to get to know the crew, one day and a half is very, very little and probably not enough. But it is what it is, we will have to adapt and we will need to find a way to make sure we are as prepared as possible within the limits of the regulations,” Sainz said.
Even though the 2018 F1 car is not the best preparation but it may work to get used to the seating position, steering wheel switches, etc, especially for a driver who is coming into a new team. Fernando Alonso is already doing so to get upto speed after being away.
Sainz awaits his programmae as he takes over the position of Sebastian Vettel in the Italian outfit, with the German will be moving to Aston Martin for the 2021 F1 season. The four-time champion says he is unperturbed by the limited testing as he, too, switches teams, and adds that modern methods mean less testing time is required.
“The contract details are contract details, and I guess the logical one, if you look forward to next year, in terms of testing, I guess from what I hear at the moment, there will be one test prior to the season, and that will be the first time I will be in the new car. Over the years, I think you get used to very little track time and making most of the track time.
“So even if one and a half days doesn’t sound like a lot still you can get some decent running. I think it’s the same for all of us. And actually, you can do a lot of stuff beforehand nowadays, so I guess the key will be the preparation leading into the test and then leading to the first race,” summed Vettel, who hinted of no prior test run, which is similar to Daniel Ricciardo.
Here’s Romain Grosjean on his future