Haas’ Romain Grosjean says the extra dose of winter training he endured earlier this year saved him from being ‘destroyed’ physically by the team’s new-spec VF17.
The Frenchman encountered no physical issues during pre-season testing in Barcelona despite the anticipation that the 2017 cars would pose a huge physical challenge to drivers.
But for Grosjean and others, preparation has been the key.
“Let’s put it this way: if I’d been in the same condition as I was last year, I would have been destroyed,” Grosjean said.
“We pushed really hard in our training. We may actually have overdone it. It’s not as bad as we thought it would be.”
“The cars are going to be challenging and some of the races this year are going to be epic, especially where it’s warm with a high-speed track, it’ll be very hard on the body.”
“I like the challenge and I like to think that we can always get more prepared and better trained. It felt good as we did the proper training. The cars are much harder to drive than last year.”
Last season, Haas kicked off its maiden F1 campaign with points in the first four races before the team’s performance level started to slump.
Grosjean believes the US outfit’s interests may be better served by gradually building up its performance and results.
“I think this year it’s actually going to be the opposite. This year, if you had to choose, I think you’d want to start slow and finish hard, and not the opposite.
“This is because in 2018 the cars are going to be very similar to 2017, and therefore if you’re finishing on a high it means you’ve understood the regulations and everything’s going well.
“Your next car will be on that trend. We really want to keep the development going and push through the year, improving race after race.”