Grosjean: No chance for outsiders to win before 2021

2019 F1 season

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Romain Grosjean doubts anyone from outside Formula 1’s ‘big three’ teams will win a race before 2021.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have won every race in the last five seasons. Speaking at the launch of Haas’s new livery in London on Thursday, Grosjean told RaceFans and other media that F1’s rules need to encourage greater competition for race victories.

“I think Formula 1 needs to get better at having more chances to win races,” said Grosjean. “I don’t think that’s going to be before 2021.

“If you look at the midfield race last year was quite exciting, a lot of changing of orders, and then there’s another race at the front. Ideally you would like as many teams as possible to be fighting for a win.”

Grosjean says Haas owner Gene Haas, who entered the sport three years ago, is also eager for F1 to become more competitive.

“I think people like Gene would like to see that as well in Formula 1. What’s the point of coming just to be always behind the same ones? But at the minute I think it’s going to be the same thing.

“Ferrari’s announcing that they’re going to increase their budget for the year. Red Bull is saying that they spent a lot of money on the front wing. Mercedes has been working really hard as well.

Haas livery launch, Royal Automobile Club, 2019
Grosjean: Haas “set the bar up high last year”
“Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t been sleeping, but I think as long as there’s going to be so different resources between teams there’s always going to be a difference of development.”

Haas finished fifth in the championship last year but had the fourth-quickest car on average. Grosjean believes several of their midfield rivals could be stronger this year.

“I think the expectations are to try to do better than last year,” he said. “We set the bar quite high up last year with fifth. Obviously we want to keep an eye on fourth if it’s possible.

“The first indication is going to be how good the car is in Barcelona, and then how much development we can actually put on the car for the season. Again I’m not thinking we’re going to beat Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes this year.

“I think Renault could be strong, McLaren you never know, big team, could come back strong. We know that Racing Point, or Force India, or whatever it’s called are injecting a lot of money in the team. Toro Rosso also it’s probably going to very close with Red Bull in terms of technical partnership, they share the same engine. So yeah there’s a lot of people want to be best of the rest.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 19 comments on “Grosjean: No chance for outsiders to win before 2021”

    1. Grosjean made non-competitive teams sound so cool.

      1. I’m again looking forward to an exciting season of formula 1.5.

        I suggest all who are interested to check out the subreddit.

        1. That’s amazing! They’ve even designed trophies and are trying to crowdfund them so they can post them to the winners. Well done Reddit! :D

    2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      9th February 2019, 9:54

      well maybe
      The Mercedeses do a Spain 2016
      RB does a Turkey 2010/Baku 2018
      Vettel has a brainfart and Leclerc is taken out by a backmarker

      One of the F1.5 cars might make the podium

      Sadly, Grosjean is right. If you look at seasons like 2012 or 2003 we saw a lot of teams on the podium or outsiders achieving occasional succes. 2010 was a bit different, but the top 3 was insanely competative, and even still Renault and Mercedes both got 3 podiums. The gap with the top teams needs to be closed somewhat. It’s okay that there is some difference between teams, but currently, the same 3 are always in front.

      1. We can always have Vettel taking out both Verstappen and his teammate again @justarandomdutchguy – like in Singapore 2017. Then Gasly can have either a run in with someone else, or just his Honda going bang (probably not going to be an unlikely event this season) and we can have a Ricciardo pass on Hamilton for the win. Or see it go wrong and have Hulk, or Grosjean, or say Kvyat win it!

    3. I’m not sure the “top 3” won’t be touchable. Or at least one of the top 3 in Red Bull. If they can pick up with Honda where they left off with Renault it will be a big surprise to me. Kind of a win-win, either Honda gain some competitiveness or there’s a 3rd place up for grabs…

      1. Indeed @skipgamer, RB will be at the mercy of how much Honda surprises with reliability (expecting to see them next to the track with a plume of smoke rather often)

    4. I wonder if one team focuses 100% on Monaco (qualifying) including their car design, if that would be enough to win that race.

      Of course you need a top driver as well, which limits the chances of most F1.5 teams.

      1. Ricciardo and Kubika(in past) both have been race winners and Grosjean and K-Mag both have been on podium multiple occasions. Of these 4 I reckon if Renault get their car setup correctly then Ric knows how to get pole and take a racewin at Monaco.

    5. That could very well be the case although Renault’s improving, so they could be a dark horse for race wins over the next two seasons before the planned overhaul for 2021. We shall wait and see.

    6. Not with a driver like Grosjean. Renault has the best chance with Ricciardo. I’m surprised Haas has persisted with this driver lineup, they need to lure a top 5 driver, it makes such a difference

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        9th February 2019, 14:17

        I don’t think they can afford a top 5 driver – a top 5 driver usually costs 5-10 times more than a top 6 driver…

        We’ll see how Ricciardo does next year. I’m not liking his chances especially after the way that Verstappen beat him in quali and race pace. I’m however glad that Renault brought Ricciardo to their team – they have a great lineup and they’ve given Hulk a chance to compete against a top shelf driver since the manufacturers wouldn’t give him a seat.

        1. @freelittlebirds, I think that there are those who would argue that, even if a team like Haas were to focus their efforts on those drivers in the midfield instead, there are still stronger alternatives than both Grosjean and Magnussen.

          If you look at the opportunities they have had given their alliance with Ferrari, Leclerc was placed at Haas back in 2016 and spent both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. It probably would not have been too difficult for Haas to have taken advantage of their links to Ferrari to arrange for Leclerc to have driven for them in the past few years, but they passed up that opportunity and let Sauber profit instead.

          Similarly, they seemed to be content with allowing Giovinazzi to act as their test driver and to take part in practise sessions with them, but again seem to have passed up the opportunity to secure his services for the team. It is quite possible that Haas could have offered a seat for either driver and used it as an opportunity to deepen their links with Ferrari, a process that could have offered technical advantages as well.

          Indeed, in that scenario they might even have had the opportunity of a Leclerc-Giovinazzi line up. It might have been inexperienced, but arguably one with better long term growth prospects than either Magnussen or Grosjean have: both of those drivers are probably reaching the point where their current form is probably as good as they will get.

          If you want to look at some of the recent drivers in the midfield, they could have struck a deal for somebody like Ocon – given Mercedes have let Ocon drive for Renault in the past, it is plausible that they might have been open to such a deal – or they could have gone for somebody like Alexander Rossi, who is doing rather well in IndyCar and could have helped open up opportunities with sponsors from the US.

          They could either go for a former midfield driver, or go for the option of bringing in a promising younger driver and hoping to gain from nurturing them – it’s hard to see how they’re going to move forward by persisting with two drivers who have shown rather variable form over the course of a season.

          1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
            12th February 2019, 16:17

            Ocon + Rossi would have been a potentially very interesting lineup.

    7. (..) Verstappen beat him in quali and race pace. – Must have seen only the end standings of last year, not the actual races, qualis and background stories. RIC was as fast as VER in quali, outqualified VER and was the better qualifier, and was by far the better one in the race and had better race pace.

      1. How would this be true? Verstappen outqualified ricciardo most of the season, and was also faster in race pace, the only thing ricciardo was better at was avoiding mistakes!

        1. How exactly did VER outqualify and outrace RIC according to you? And secondly, how is avoiding mistakes NOT a crucial part of the job?

    8. In reality this is nothing new.

      The only reason that there were surprise winners in past eras was because of unreliability and DNF’s that we’re far more prevalent when there were gravel traps etc.

      Sure there was a much wider range of podiums, but winners have generally only come from the top 3 or 4 teams, and in many years just a couple of teams.

      I don’t really see that changing much any time soon if ever as it’s the nature of racing at the highest level. One or two teams will always excel.

    Comments are closed.