Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Grosjean: Hard to maintain motivation at end of tough year

2019 F1 season

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Romain Grosjean admitted Haas’s struggle with its car this year is making it difficult to maintain motivation as the season draws to an end.

The team failed to score points or the 14th time this year last weekend at their home race. Grosjean admitted it was “hard to keep your head up” under the circumstances.

“I’m keeping it [up] but as I say it’s hard,” said Grosjean in response to a question from RaceFans. “We are all racers, we are all competitors, we all want to do the best. And you can feel in the team that it’s just hard.

“It’s never good when you count down the races to the end of the year. There’s a certain amount you can do but we’re human beings, we’ve got feelings, We want to be competitive.

“You hear Mercedes on Friday in Mexico saying it’s going to be a difficult weekend, it’s going to be terrible and so on. At the end they win and they’ve won by Friday. We’ve had three days difficult for a long time.”

Having lost their way with the VF-19 during 2019, and removed several updates from the car during the season, Haas are now focusing on their plans for next year.

“At the minute I think the best is to try to work as hard as we can for next year,” said Grosjean. “We know that next year should be better.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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28 comments on “Grosjean: Hard to maintain motivation at end of tough year”

  1. You frikking got an extension inputs of your misdemeanors. Is t that motivation enough Crashjean

    1. Grosjean: “Hard to maintain motivation at end of tough year”. I would rather say: Hard to believe he is still in F1.

  2. Hard to motivate yourself, but easy to keep the seat for Grosjean.

  3. You know, some are having even more problems with their car…
    Some can’t enter F1 at all…

    Yes, your car is tricky and bad, but c’mon, by today you should have learned that life is generally not that easy – just pull yourself together and work to change this.

    Alternatively – quit and start doing something you think will give you more motivation.

  4. “You hear Mercedes on Friday in Mexico saying it’s going to be a difficult weekend, it’s going to be terrible and so on. At the end they win and they’ve won by Friday. We’ve had three days difficult for a long time.”
    – Savage.

  5. Romain’s situation is a strange one: it sounded as though he’d almost talked himself out of a seat earlier in the year before his contract was renewed with statements like he’d do a combined DTM & FE programme. What is the point of slogging around the world when your heart is not in it?

  6. Just imagine how the Guy feels that has to keep laminating new Wings just so you smash them in FP1 and then complain about the Car not improving at all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  7. More evidence of Grosjean’s incompetence. Even to a competitor with average skills, every event, every position is all the motivation they need to put forth their best effort. Grosjean would have been out of F1 years ago if it weren’t for Haas. He and Magnussen will both be out in 2021 when Haas leaves and sells the team to someone else who will doubtless bring in two drivers with both skills, AND self energized motivation.

  8. Monsieur Moan even moans about keeping his job.

  9. Disappointing comments from him.

    There are millions of people, myself and I imagine 95-99% of people who access this site included, who would love the chance to drive a Williams.

    I think it was Coulthard who said his pay was for the promo work and training, driving the car was a benefit.

    I like and rate RG more than most on this forum. I look back to his drives in 2012/2013 and the Singapore victory that got away due to a tech fault. But these comments are sad.

  10. Haas should buy this whiner out of his contract and get back to signing Hulkenberg – expensive but will pay benefits every single day next year.

  11. You hear Mercedes on Friday in Mexico saying it’s going to be a difficult weekend, it’s going to be terrible and so on. At the end they win and they’ve won by Friday. We’ve had three days difficult for a long time.

    It isn’t just Haas that has had “difficult days for a long time”, my recollection is Toto often says “We’re in for a difficult weekend”. Then everyone works extra hard because they realise he’s right and that their drivers can’t win if they’re complacent, so they make sure the whole car is “within spec” (because being out of spec makes the car less driveable and less reliable), and then the drivers go out onto the track (with Toto’s words ringing in their ears) believing that if they don’t drive well then they won’t be on the podium… only after all that enormous effort by everyone do the drivers end up on the podium.
    Unfortunately, as a professional driver, you’re stuck with the vehicle your employer gives you. Yes, you’ve had “3 difficult days for a long time”, but that’s not your responsibility, your job is to meet the Team Principal’s expectations despite having “difficulties”, which, for an F1 driver means finishing races, hopefully on the podium, preferably in the points, all in a car that you believe could be better. One way to make you car better is to not crash it, because crashing affects the performance of the car. Your job, as a racing car driver, isn’t to design and build the car, it is to drive well and get points. It also means showing the mechanics and technicians you care about their work. One of the best ways to do that is to “bring the car home”, so instead of having to rebuild the car (“again”) they can do the work they were actually sent to the race to do = making the car better to drive and more reliable.
    Since you mention Mercedes, let’s consider their drivers: Lewis won the WDC and Valtteri won the race at Mexico, so a rare achievement of two wins in one race. Note there’s been one retirement (“spun off” = driver error) between them so far this season. So the Mercedes drivers are driving to a very high standard. Also note that the consequence of their difficult weekend was no retirements due to technical failures = high standard of garage workmanship and driver skill.
    Now consider Haas: 10 retirements! One driver has even had 7 retirements this season! Doesn’t that suggest this driver is making mistakes? Retirements prevent you from being able to earn points. So there were 10 lost point scoring opportunities, some of which we suspect were avoidable.
    If we look at the causes of those retirements we find things like collisions (arguably own driver error) and wheel damage (driver error). So evidence supporting our suspicion there’s less than the Mercedes drivers’ “very high standard” of driving at Haas. There were also failures for technical reasons. We don’t know if somehow the driver contributed to this. I don’t see the mechanics and technicians at Mercedes being so much better than those at Haas, but obviously there is something amiss. Maybe the Haas mechanics have to keep repairing the cars instead of doing maintenance?
    If we consider the Carlos Sainz (McLaren, 4 RET, 80 points) and Sergio Perez (Racing Point, 2 RET, 44 points), who are good examples of what a good driver at a less well funded team driver can achieve, we see they’ve had 6 retirements between them. Note also both drivers have more points that Haas do (28 points).
    Other drivers we could similarly mention are Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo, 2 RET, 31 points), Lance Stroll (Racing point, 1 RET, 21 points), and Nico Hulkenberg (Renault, 3 RET + 1 DSQ, 37 points).
    For Williams it has been a whole season of “difficult weekends”, yet they turn up, their pit stop times show up the top teams, and their reliability and races finished matches Ferrari, Racing Point, and Alfa Romeo, and is only beaten by Mercedes and Red Bull Racing.
    My advice to Romain is to improve your driving. You’re never too old or so experienced you can’t improve.

    1. No, it isn’t that with Mercedes. That’s what they want you to think.

      Play down your chances at the start of the weekend, then you look even better when you win. Hamilton and Mercedes are amazing, it’s as simple as that.

  12. For those complaining about what Grosjean has moaned about this season, I still don’t think any of it even compares to what Magnussen said in Canada.

    “This is the worst experience I’ve ever had in any race car, ever”

    The team then say: “None of us are happy about this pace. The guys stayed up all night to fix the car” – Magnussen interrupts: “I know but I know”

    Gunter urgently appears to have had enough. “It means that for us it is also not a nice experience. It’s Enough now. That’s what it means. Enough means enough.”

    As I said, I don’t think anything Grosjean has said has visibly got Gunter annoyed quite this much. What Magnussen said could not have been more disrespectful.

    Simply not comparable to what people constantly criticize Grosjean for. I think they just broadcast more of his messages because people fine them entertaining. We may not know that one of the reasons that the team have kept him is because some of his complaining is effectively feedback that helps. It can’t all be unreasonable if they gave him a new contract.

    1. @thegianthogweed One big difference is that what Magnussen said was in the heat of the moment (and he apologised to everyone afterwards), while Grosjean’s comments wasn’t.

      OTOH, we should also remember that this kind of comment is usually in response to questions.

      1. That is a point about it being in response to a question.

        I don’t really see how what he is saying is all that negative. Especially when comparing it to what the team boss said a while ago.

        https://www.racefans.net/2019/11/06/for-me-2019-never-happened-steiner/

    2. @thegianthogweed Completely different thing though. Magnussen drove a car that had been rushed back together overnight after he utterly destroyed it in Q2. So in a way that was even worse. Complaining about a poor car when people worked all night to at least have something driving.

      On he other hand that was also just a one time thing plus in the heat of the moment.

      Magnussen actually was driving with the new spec parts because he felt it was important to learn from those for the future of the team. While Grosjean refused to race them and went for the easy way out to drive with the old parts which were faster (or at least easier to setup) but with not future in them.

      1. It wasn’t really in the heat of the moment though. He had been driving the same car many many laps earlier and nothing different suddenly happened to justify a reason for him saying this. Drivers reactions to a crash is more understandable.

  13. People always moaned that the drivers don’t have personality and just PR machine. Then when you got a driver that say something on record that not within standard PR talk, 99% of the comments are attacking him.

    1. @sonicslv, furthermore, I can’t help but wonder whether some of those attacking him would say the same things if it had been a more popular driver, rather than if it had been Grosjean, making those sorts of comments.

      1. @sonicslv Exactly!

        Also agree with anon. When it’s Kubica who’s moaning over and over about how bad his Williams is, his fans applaud him for his “kandor”

        1. @f1osaurus What I really hate from the other comments is they “demanding” unreasonable thing. Grosjean statement is something that very human and very understandable. His and Haas season is practically over. It’s obvious Haas car can’t compete with others anymore this season. You don’t need to be world class athlete to know when you’ve been defeated and just want the current “game” to be over with and starts new one. Giving up 2019 doesn’t mean he’s not motivated to fight again in 2020. Heck, it would be the smart play to just minimize your mental fatigue so you got better start in 2020.

          1. @sonicslv Well I have to say he comes across as less motivated often though. I especially feel it was bad that he had the upgrades removed almost right away. While Magnussen at least kept trying to make the upgrades work. It’s important to try to improve rather than just trying not to finish last.

            The unnecessary dig at Mercedes also doesn’t him no favors. Clearly Mercedes actually did have to work hard for it too.

            One might argue that it’s the positive attitude and the can do atmosphere that they have at Mercedes that allows them to prevail with what was the third fastest car in Q3. This is something that feels not present in Grosjean. Or the team as a whole.

            Still this interview Grosjean seems realistic and not that much like “moaning” at all.

          2. @f1osaurus The upgrades doesn’t work, and Steiner basically admitted Grosjean insistence is what made them realize that problem and it’s the biggest reason why they kept him for next year. Grosjean did better job to develop the car than Magnussen in this case, because it’s not always “shut up and make it work” for every new parts. Sometimes new parts just worse and went in wrong direction and the driver should said so because they are the one that most qualified to give final judgement on the upgrades.

            And I don’t see any dig at Mercedes. Heck, every weekend there will be article here about Toto or Lewis or Bottas saying they’ll struggle and almost all comments just said the same thing as Grosjean. I see it as a comparison to really emphasize how bad Haas condition this year.

            And I think it’s unfair to say that Grosjean or Haas doesn’t have positive attitude during the season, or the lack of positive attitude is why they slumped this year. If everything can be solved with that, we should chastised Williams for having much more less positive attitude. Haas often punched over their weight in qualifying, but it just proven they are nowhere in the race. If this is still mid-season, I’d agree they should fight more, but with the season practically over? It’s very humane to just accept your defeat. That being said, if somehow they see a chance to fight for top 10 in the final 2 races this year, I’d bet the whole team will be very much radiating that positive attitude to grab those points.

            And yes I agree this interview is realistic and he’s not moaning. It’s actually a rare peek of the real human aspect of F1, not the glamorous or the forever idealistic/optimistic PR answers, something that always asked for but apparently most commenters here still not able to handle the truth.

      2. But He did say that. And he is the one being savaged. And rightly so.

  14. You are 7-8 years overdue, Romain

  15. Oh people…

    he was probably asked if it was difficult to keep his head up at the current situation.
    should he lie?

    seems he should, looking at most of these comments.

    His car has sometimes been good on Saturday, but then loses everything again on Sunday. That is very, very frustrating.

    But you prefer Grosjean to lie.

    Ok.

    Don’t forget, he was answering a question. And he was being truthful. And it happens to be very understandable.

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