Haas F1 Team announced today that Romain Grosjean will be driving for the team in 2016.
From their Kannapolis, NC headquarters, team principal Guenther Steiner and Haas F1 Team founder Gene Haas made the announcement after public speculation had all but confirmed Grosjean’s joining Haas in recent days.
Citing experience, credentials and technical insights as a priority, all three took questions from the media, with Roman taking center stage as the French-Swiss driver appeared in Haas F1 Team gear. Currently he is finishing up the season with Lotus F1 Team, video of today’s conference is here:
Haas F1 Team will be the first American Formula 1 team to appear on the grid in 30 years, and today’s press conference put a square focus on 2016 and what’s gone into the decision making process with Romain Grosjean as their choice for a drive with the team.
At 29 years old, Grosjean has 78 starts and 10 podium finishes, and was a clear top choice for Steiner who saw Romain as the right person for the job because:
“…he has so much ‘want to drive’ now, and he’s still aggressive or still wants it, you know, but he’s not young (so) anymore that he’s inexperienced.”
Reaction to the selection of a non-American for a seat with the first American team to race in Formula 1 in 3o years has been mixed, as Steiner and Haas have been sticking to a long-term approach to develop the team as part of a comprehensive and methodical plan to put the right people in place for the job at Haas F1 Team.
While American Alexander Rossi is currently the only driver licensed to drive an Formula 1 car, with just his second start in Suzuka under his belt, it’s clear that Haas F1 Team is building a foundation as a team which understands and competes in the sport with the most experienced personnel while developing and pushing forward.
The second and reserve driver have yet to be named.