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.”
The Formula One season kicks off this weekend in Australia with Lewis Hamilton bidding to win his third title down under.
The Brit goes into the season as the favourite to clinch a fourth world title, but the key question will be which drivers can challenge him.
With the new driver regulations set to shake up the grid, F1 fans will be hoping the likes of Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel can light up the circuit and challenge for glory.
Here’s how you can catch all the action in Melbourne.
DATE, TIME, VENUE INFO
DATE: 24-26 March 2017
FRIDAY, MARCH 24 – FIRST PRACTICE SESSION: 01:00 GMT (5:00 UAE time)
FRIDAY, MARCH 24 – SECOND PRACTICE SESSION: 05:00 GMT (9:00 UAE time)
SATURDAY, MARCH 25 – THIRD PRACTICE SESSION: 03:00 GMT (7:00 UAE time)
SATURDAY, MARCH 25 – QUALIFYING: 06:00 GMT (10:00 UAE time)
SUNDAY, MARCH 26 – RACE: 06:00 GMT (10:00 UAE time)
VENUE: Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
WHERE TO WATCH
TV: UAE – beIN Sports
LIVE BLOG: Sport360 blog
Formula 1’s new managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn is frustrated by the ‘shark fins’ on this year’s cars.
Brawn previously said that he wanted to review the new regulations that allowed the extra bit of bodywork. However, it would take unanimous approval from teams to revise the rules before the start of the season, and that’s not going to happen.
“Part of the sales pitch for these new rules was nicer looking cars,” Brawn told Autosport magazine this week.
“We’ve only half achieved that haven’t we, because we’ve got all these oddities – shark fins and T-wings and more bits.
“That’s understandable with a new set of rules. But the next iteration has got to make sure that we don’t, even if it’s only for aesthetics.”
Brawn added that the current situation was particularly frustrating given that teams had previously rejected the idea of shark fins when proposed by FIA president Jean Todt.
“Todt has had this bee in his bonnet, which is valid in a way, to put the number on the side of the car so that the fan in the grandstand can see what car he’s looking at,
“Not every fan is knowledgeable enough to recognise the helmet and all the rest of it,” he pointed out.
“We came up with the shark fin, because that was the easy addition to put a big number on,” he continued. “And half of the teams said we’re not going to have that on our cars, that’s terrible.
“It was tested. We had photographs and everything, and everyone said, ‘that’s horrible, we don’t want that.”