Romain Grosjean, Haas, Monza, 2020

Grosjean confirms this is his last season with Haas

2020 F1 season

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Romain Grosjean has confirmed he will not stay with Haas beyond the end of the 2020 F1 season.

He joined the team in 2016 after leaving Lotus. The partnership enjoyed a dream start in Australia, where Grosjean scored points for sixth place on the team’s debut. They went one better at the next race, Grosjean taking fifth in Bahrain.

But more recently Haas endured a difficult 2019 with its VF-19, and Grosjean fell to 18th in the championship. The 2020 season has been little better – it took him until the last race to score his first points of the campaign.

An all-new driver line-up is believed to be on the cards at Haas next year, a change team principal Guenther Steiner has not ruled out. Grosjean confirmed today at least one of the seat will change hands for 2021.

“The last chapter is closed and the book is finished,” said Grosjean in a social media post.

“I’ve been with Haas F1 Team since day one. Five years during which we went through highs and lows, scored 110 points in 92 races, but the journey was worth it.

“I’ve learned a lot, improved to be a better driver as well as a better man. I hope I’ve also helped people in the team to improve themself. This is probably my biggest pride, more than any of the crazy first races in 2016 or the fourth at the Austrian GP 2018.

“I wish the team all the best for the future.”

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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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39 comments on “Grosjean confirms this is his last season with Haas”

  1. I do hope we get to see at least a few drives like we saw from him last race weekend before he bows out. Thanks Romain.

    1. agreed @bascb, he’s had some great moments in a long career. It’s time for him to move on, but I’ve always had some affection for him – as a flawed driver and as a very human being. Bloody annoying sometimes, indeed dangerous at times, and capable of seeming blind to his own errors but also quite a grounded person. So as I say, very human. He probably recognises that his destiny/level in F1 was “journeyman”. He has plenty of other things in his life, though I’d be very unsurprised to see him in WEC or similar. Hopefully not FE, since that doesn’t need more people who’ve had long careers in F1 (sorry Felipe).
      So yes, give us some more good drives to remember you by, Romain, and then enjoy what comes next.

    2. Definitely will miss Grosjean’s radio communications…

  2. Since the F1 fan’s mind is so tiresomely predictable, I bet we’ll see some celebration and the belief that changing the lineup will be a step forward for Haas even though the real problem at that team (leadership, especially Steiner) will remain there.

    1. I agree. Ever since I saw steiner f-ing and blinding in drive to survive he lost my respect, as an ex-chef I was never inspired by sweary and shouty management

    2. Steiner definitely is one of the worse leaders I have ever seen. He doesn’t seem like the person you’d go the extra mile for. Compare this to for example Seidl at McLaren, Horner at Red Bull, Wolf at Mercedes or – more historically – Ross Brawn. They are leaders capable of motivating people, yet demanding very high performances of everyone. Steiner is so unprofessional, very narcissistic.. Totally incapable of leading a Formula 1 team in my opinion.

    3. Yes your right, there are plenty other things wrong with Haas. Plenty.

      Yes your right, I see it as a celebration. They were poor drivers, and Grosjean has been so dangerous at times. So yes glad they are going, they are not the drivers you need in their position.

  3. Unsurprising. As a result, this is most likely going to end up being the last season for him racing in F1.

    1. abananasplitz
      22nd October 2020, 9:16

      Fingers crossed!

    2. And long overdue imho

  4. So long Romain. At least you had ten F1 podiums.

  5. RocketTankski
    22nd October 2020, 9:22

    Perez or Schumacher I reckon.
    I always got the impression that Haas considered Grosjean and KMag to be solid placeholders until the team settled in and got super competitive. Unfortunately they seem to have just gone backwards since their debut.

  6. Jose Lopes da Silva
    22nd October 2020, 9:25

    If it’s Grosjean out for Mazepin in, it’s a disaster for the sport and a good move regarding business.

    1. Wow, completely new lineup then!

      1. @bascb
        Thank heaven they decided to move on from their drivers line up as this will release more seats for young drivers. It is becoming a classic, whenever RaceFans says something will happen, it usually does.

        1. Indeed. We certainly did need some room for a bunch of promising rookies to get their F1 drives – Schumacher, Illot, Shwarzman, Tsunoda. Well and Mazepin, I guess.

          Better they replace guys like Grosjean and Magnussen at Haas than the likes of Russel at Williams.

  7. You have provided me with plenty of entertainment and I believe you have tried your best in a less than stellar team Romain.
    Nice one son.

    Also (for me anyway) you are second only to Kimi for entertaining team radio. Alonso is hot on your heels but I think you have the edge on him ;)

  8. It’s definitely his time to move on, but I am sad to see him go.

  9. Aurevoir Grosjean. You’ve had a good innings, old chap. You’ll dig it in formula E.

    1. Oh no. Et Monsieur Kevin aussi. What a day for Haas, or as they say in France: Quelle day pour Haas.

  10. FINALLY. It’s about time.

  11. I’ll be sad to see Romain go, he’s always provided entertainment (and controversy) and on his day he’s got pace – what more can you ask of an F1 driver? 10 podiums to his name without ever having been at a front running team is very respectable (ignoring the fact his team-mate won two races in that period…albeit both were “right place at the right time” victories).

    Ultimately, it’s a good time for him to bow out and give up his place to a young challenger.

    I hope he keeps racing, I imagine he’ll move onto WEC or FE and I suspect he’ll thrive in either.

    1. The Lotus was a front running car. Possibly a championship winning car in the hands of a Hamilton or Alonso.

    2. As I remember Grosjean was beaten by Kimi as a teammate very consitently, at most of the GP’s of them as a teammate he was just at about 1 or 2 positions behind. Since then it not got any better, but he turned out to be error prone, Grosjean and Magnussen often took each other out sadly, and that is remarkable in a bad way amongst teammates, they did it so often.

      As these news coming about them quite rapidly, I would not be surprised if there would be some other changes announced about Haas. Hopefully not Mazepin, because Shwartzaman >>> Mazepin in most of their qualities (as it seems to me). As Steiner was quite supportive of Grosjean, and Magnussen, probably they will have an other team leader? Sometimes I had a hard time to find the common denominator of Steiner’s apparently sarcastic and black humour with his infinite seeming patience towards his incidentful drivers. Although probably this is originated from some positivity which is an important trait of a leader. Probably a trait like this and the star appearances in the Drive to survive series worths enough to Haas to keep him. If I would be otherwise satisfied with him as a leader then I would keep him.
      Probably these rapid actions are originated from serious reconsideration of F1 plans at Haas, at these hard times they want some change, even via revolution or via a bit of gamble. Imo with Perez’s sponsor money they could have a fair rookie, or some greatness from Indycar in the other seat, this would not be revolution after today’s announcements :)

      Interestingly despite of his flaws I liked Grosjean as a character, so I wish him some great success, winning Le Mans would be likely very cool as a Frenchman, it’s not the end of the road, let’s see what Tarquini or Mauro Nesti achieved :)

      1. Jockey Ewing, Kimi was given contractual No.1 status at Lotus though, with the team confirming that Grosjean was often an update package behind Kimi – basically, once a new upgrade came along, they put Kimi’s old parts onto Grosjean’s car.

        It was only towards the end of Kimi’s time there, when he was in dispute over salary payments and announced he was leaving for Ferrari, that Lotus started giving Grosjean more support – and in that period, Grosjean’s performances noticeably improved and he tended to be faster than Kimi in quite a few races. It therefore raises the question of whether Grosjean really was that much slower than Kimi, or whether Kimi’s preferential treatment within the team meant that he looked faster than he really was relative to Grosjean.

        1. Thank you, probably I not knew some details. Although I knew the story of Lotus’ financial problems, and its relation to Kimi’s payments, and his missing out of some races at the end. But I probably not knew about Kimi’s contractual 1st driver status, altough at applying a former world champion and a quasi rookie that is the most likely distribution of roles. Updates sometimes are just not working, probably they were lucky with that, apart from financial issues that team Lotus worked suprisingly well by that time.
          I think without regular access to telemetry data and insider informations questions like who is faster, and how much are hard to answer, while with access to those are quite answerable. Anyway it would be nice to change the way how F1 is considered a team sport, because nowadays it’s more and more about “using” the 2nd driver.
          Somehow F1 could use telemetry more, because I have read that it’s still not used in every steward decision. But why not? For a small chunk of the hunderds of millions flying around at F1 even top or second tier IT companies would happily solve the privacy problems around it, combined with data engineering the stewards could be supported with strong hints based on very detailed history of similar cases, that would increase the speed of decision making. (So I really hope they are already working on it, because it would be a nice field to use the achievements of AI and big data. As I read or seen for example AI can detect possible problems on CT images at a mich higher rate than an experienced doctor at his or her own field, therefore it’s already can hint them very well – although false postitive and false negative results are possible, therefore using it to hint specialits is the best way nowadays).

          For example to pit earlier and try whether a compound works at that time or not… RB did this to Albon quite often, and that made him to end up at with quite extreme pit strategies, he used hards for example, when basically no one used them at some race, or ended up with one additional pit stop while RB is one of the bests at tyre handling. Although the way Alpha Tauri races Albon at his season we can’t say too much bad things of RB family’s sportmanship from this point of view. I would not destroy Gasly’s returned self confidence with frequently asking
          him to let Albon pass, especially because this AT car looks like a succesful one, and they can earn a better share from the money pot now.

          I don’t like the way in it is considered a team sport today, yes it’s a team sport, but instead of trying to be fast with both drivers some dirtier strategies are often used, like trying to hold up opponents even at the cost of multiple placements of the second driver. I think it only could be effectively outruled based on a financial idea. I was happy to see my countryman, Michelisz to finally win at WTCR’s previous season (2018 was filled by bad luck, and penalties based on technical DNF’s and smaller racing incidents for him, he was punished by luck like Ricciardo at his last season at RB), but his teammates dropped so many positions to hold up opponents, and that’s combined with the WTCR’s implementation of Balance of performance which rewards driving slowly with the team members who are already out of contention is another questionable act, which I was not happy with, because he had great teammates like Tarquini, Farfus, and Catsburg. I remember that Tarquini sometimes dropped 3-4 positions because that was optimal. Bringing in the tokens on aero development, instead of having simple rules and restricting only on the financial side moves towards this. Although earning tokens and earning share from the pot should balance itself I’m a bit less concerned about it, even if I don’t see it as an ultimate solution.

          An idea about how to reduce the role of team orders:
          Probably create a function to calculate the teams share of the money pot, which function takes into the individual placements of the 1st driver, and the 2nd driver as well, besides taking the Constructor championship’s results and paying based on only that, take the individual results as well, weigh them somehow, for example : 2nd drivers’ points into account with an appropriately large weight, so for example for 1st drivers’ points with a multiplier of 1, and the 2nd drivers’ points with a multiplier of 1.5 . Probably they could reverse engineer a function based on some acceptable outputs (percentages of money shared per team) using methods like interpolation.

          So yes things like these can affect the results of 2nd drivers quite severely, imo they can loose something like 10-30% of their points depending on how often they are sacrified. But I think even at those conditions, even if going against an established and strong driver, a potent rookie or sophomore should beat the first driver at least 1 times of 4. I think time answered how much Grosjean was slower then the rocksolid and great, albeit far from fastest and most determined ever Kimi, therefore he became a midfield driver, probably he could had some better cars to prove himself.

  12. I think he’s probably as good as Perez for the team, especially given his contributions to car setup and development (including the honesty of saying the upgrades make it worse)…

    … but unfortunately I also think a change will do Haas good. Fresh drivers finding their way before a fresh assault on their position in the constructors with updated regulations and budget caps from ’22.

    Au revoir Romain.

  13. All the best to both Grosjean and Magnussen they raced at the top level, something very few drivers achieve.

  14. Ahh its like be nice about them now.

  15. Well, it’s a testimony to the quality of RF’s readers that they’re gracious in this moment. You can bet on other sites I could name they’re still raking him over the coals.

    1. abananasplitz
      22nd October 2020, 10:59

      the difference is that here they censor comments that dont meet their aproval.

    2. hahaha… planetf1 is the worst

    3. Rather than just when he’s a current driver. I’ll let him know the good news.

  16. Stephen Higgins
    22nd October 2020, 10:44

    Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber will be sending their regards I’m sure …

  17. Flop of the Year 2018…but on the other side he’s a humble person.

  18. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    22nd October 2020, 13:23

    While I understand the decision to move on and find out how new drivers will fare, the name Grosjean and Haas will probably remain synonymous in F1. The team has gone through a lot of highs and lows together and it has certainly been a story to follow for F1 fans. I’d love to see Romain put some great drives in before the end of the season.

  19. Think both grosjean and magnussen were good enough to be in f1 and that the problem lied more into the car than the driver, however it’s obvious the car hasn’t developed in the right place and that some drivers seem to be better than others at doing that, I don’t know all specifics but alonso would be worse than hamilton at this, so maybe new drivers will be able to drive the car in a better direction.

    Although odd to just say we’ll change our drivers without yet having decided who to get, based on the rumors I assume schumacher jr. would be there and maybe perez or hulkenberg, suppose they’d like haas more than being out of f1, unless they get a red bull chance ofc.

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