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Ромен Грожан:
The Far East swing involved plenty of highs and lows for Haas F1 Team. You had to overcome two crashes – one in Malaysia and another in Japan – yet you came away with points in two of the three races to help the team regain seventh in the constructors standings. Talk about how the team handled that adversity and then delivered when it was time to race. I guess it was a pretty good three-race swing in Asia. We had ups and downs but, generally, we learned a lot, especially after Sepang – getting it right for Suzuka. A double-points finish for the team was pretty big. Singapore, we saved what we could. We didn’t have huge performance, but we had a pretty good race. In Japan we found the sweet spot on the tires, so that was good. Japan was obviously the high point of the Far East swing with a double-points finish. How important was that result as the team heads into its home race – the United States Grand Prix? It’s important for the constructors championship because there’s a tight fight there. Austin is always a special one for us. It shows that we’re growing up. We’re going there for the second time in our history, and off the back of eighth- and ninth-place finishes, which is pretty good. Japan’s Suzuka Circuit has been a strong venue for Haas F1 Team. It was the first track where Haas F1 Team got both its cars into Q3, and it was the scene of the team’s second double-points finish. How does that track seemingly play to Haas F1 Team’s strengths? It’s a combination of things. I think it’s very much a driver’s track, where you can try to make the difference. Last year we found a good setup and we tried to use it again this year, but I don’t think it’s truly related to the track. I think we’ve been performing well in other places this year. Generally, I’d say that higher-speed circuits are better for us than lower-speed circuits. How do you attempt to transfer a strong finish in Japan to another strong finish at COTA? The truth of one race is not the truth of the next one. It was a good result for us, for Gene (Haas) – who was there – it was a very proud moment. I’m proud of all of us, but for Austin we need to focus on what we can do. We need the right setup, get the right tools and just work as we do, normally. It was pretty good in Japan, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be the same in Austin. We need to work hard to make it good. In joining Haas F1 Team, you took a leap of faith in the vision Gene Haas had for an American Formula One team. What has it been like to be a part of this endeavor and what makes Haas F1 Team different from other Formula One teams? I think every team is different, but we’ve got Gene who absolutely loves racing. He’s an amazing team owner. He’s very much involved. He loves it. He’s always trying to understand and get the best from everyone. That’s great to see. I’d say the team runs as every Formula One team does, but we know that we’ve got Gene behind us. He likes us to give our best and that makes it a great place to be and to work. Haas F1 Team accomplished a lot in its debut season. Can you talk about the team’s growth this year and, specifically, how it has outperformed compared to last year? You never realize how much you can grow until you’ve seen what you’re doing. From our start, the team is now much more experienced and much stronger. There are a lot of things we can improve to get better and better. From day one though, the team is much stronger in every area. There are no places where we are weaker. We’ve got better strategy, better engineering, better mechanics – everything is more organized around the racetrack. It’s just the way it is when you start, but then you grow up. We know where we can still improve the team and we know we’ve got room for that, so that’s really good for the future. When you think that most of the teams are at their maximum, or are running at their maximum, we know how much we can do and still improve. It shows that there could be a really bright future. You’re racing for an American team in the United States Grand Prix. Because of that, does walking into the paddock at COTA and driving out of the garage and onto the track take on greater significance or give you an added sense of pride? Yeah, it’s a great one to go to. I’ve always loved Austin, but since I’ve been a Haas driver, I love it even more. I haven’t had the chance to have a national grand prix – that’ll come next year in France – but Austin is the one where I get to represent America. Formula One returned to the United States after a four-year absence when it raced at COTA in 2012. You participated in that race. What was the industry’s reaction to Formula One’s return to America? It was wonderful. We had a lot of fans and people really came to see the race. It’s a great venue and one of the best new tracks we’ve had in quite a while. The track was great, the city is nice, and it was a very nice experience. When you first competed at COTA, what did you think of the venue? It was very nice and very well organized. The city is great. There are a lot of bars and concerts going on in the city, and people came from all over the country to see the race. It was amazing. You equaled your career-best Formula One finish (second) at COTA in 2013. Talk about that race. It was a wonderful race. I started third on the grid and proceeded to make a great start. We didn’t think we’d keep Red Bull Racing behind, but we managed. We had a good car and, ultimately, I had a really good race. COTA’s first corner is at the top of a hill – a blind and tight left-hander that sends drivers into a section modeled after Silverstone’s Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex. How do you approach that corner knowing there’s a moment when you don’t know what’s on the other side? You know that nobody’s coming the wrong way, so that really helps when you come to the corner. It’s really about focusing on the right thing at the right time. First the braking point, then the turning point, and then the apex and exit. Yes it’s a blind corner, but once you’ve got in the rhythm you just take it all step-by-step and there are no surprises. COTA has been described as having the most overtaking opportunities of any track on the Formula One calendar. Is this accurate and, if so, what makes COTA better for overtaking than other venues? It’s not that simple to overtake at COTA. You’ve got a huge straight line on the backstraight, which helps, of course, with the DRS. The braking into turn one is very wide and you can have some chances there. But, on the other hand, it’s very hard to follow in sector one, and into that very long right-hand side corner before the last two corners. What is your favorite part of COTA? All of sector one. Describe a lap around COTA. First you brake on the very wide track uphill into turn one. You then have tricky traction going downhill through sector one. It’s very high speed – very similar to Silverstone. Here you try to carry some good speed. Then you go to the hairpin before the backstraight, again you want good traction here. There’s very big braking at the end. Then there’s a very tight section with a double right corner. After that it’s a long left hairpin, with tricky braking, then a full right-hand side corner, almost flat out in qualifying. Then it’s the two mid-speed final turns, which are pretty interesting, going down into the first one, and the second one going up again before you finish the lap. Austin has become a destination venue for the Formula One industry, much like Singapore and Monaco. Why does the city resonate so well with those in Formula One? I think because it’s the United States Grand Prix. Austin is a great city and it gets a lot of fans visiting, too. There’s also a great atmosphere around the track. How much of Austin have you been able to explore, and is there an area of the city you like the most? I’ve seen quite a bit of Austin. The nightlife is amazing, too. During the day there are some nice shopping centers. It’s a great place.
Кевин Магнусен:
The Far East swing involved plenty of highs and lows for Haas F1 Team. The team had to overcome two crashes – one in Malaysia and another in Japan – yet your eighth-place finish in Japan helped the team regain seventh in the constructors standings. Talk about how the team handled that adversity and then delivered when it was time to race. We just cracked on and did our thing. Obviously, I was really happy about our result in Japan. It’s good to be back in seventh, but it’s going to be a really tough challenge to maintain that position for the rest of the year. We will give it our best. Japan was obviously the high point of the Far East swing with a double-points finish. How important was that result as the team heads into its home race – the United States Grand Prix? I think it was the best result we could’ve scored in Japan. Hopefully, we can still be strong in America. It would be great to have a good result in front of the team’s home crowd. Japan’s Suzuka Circuit has been a strong venue for Haas F1 Team. It was the first track where Haas F1 Team got both its cars into Q3, and it was the scene of the team’s second double-points finish. How does that track seemingly play to Haas F1 Team’s strengths? I think we just made the best of it. It’s not really because we were fast enough to be there. We showed that in qualifying. We made the best of an eventful race and scored points with both cars. Haas F1 Team has accomplished a lot in its two Formula One seasons. Can you talk about the team’s growth this year and, specifically, how it has compared to other teams you’ve driven for? It’s been great. We’ve got more people coming. We’re improving and growing in all areas. It’s great to see the team going in the right direction. You’re racing for an American team in the United States Grand Prix. Because of that, does walking into the paddock at COTA and driving out of the garage and onto the track take on greater significance or give you an added sense of pride? It’s fantastic being on an American team, racing at an American venue. When you first competed at COTA in 2014, what did you think of the venue? It’s a really cool track. It’s one of the better new tracks on the F1 calendar. They’ve done a really good job there. COTA’s first corner is at the top of a hill – a blind and tight left-hander that sends drivers into a section modeled after Silverstone’s Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex. How do you approach that corner knowing there’s a moment when you don’t know what’s on the other side? The braking zone is really uphill, so you can brake really late. You can’t see the apex of the exit, but the track is so wide you can choose different lines. COTA has been described as having the most overtaking opportunities of any track on the Formula One calendar. Is this accurate and, if so, what makes COTA better for overtaking than other venues? It’s certainly one of the better tracks for overtaking. It always makes for a good show. What is your favorite part of COTA? Sector one. I like it simply because it’s fast. Describe a lap around COTA. Big, wide and up and down. Austin has become a destination venue for the Formula One industry, much like Singapore and Monaco. Why does the city resonate so well with those in Formula One? The city’s just great for going out. There are great restaurants and great places for having fun. Having a Formula One race there is the perfect package for having a good weekend. Your dad, Jan, has been able to carve quite an impressive sports car career in the United States, most recently by winning the 2017 GTLM driver and team championships in IMSA. What’s it been like to have parallel racing careers, albeit in different series? I think it’s great. He’s had a career in the United States for nearly 20 years now. I’ve always been following him and I’ve been to many of the races. I’ve always enjoyed American motorsport. Hopefully one day, when I’m finished in Formula One, I can explore a bit and have a go at racing in America. Your dad said that in order to win this year’s title, he and the team had to overachieve on the bad weekends and make the absolute most of the good weekends. Is that what racing’s all about, and how applicable is that mindset to what you do here with Haas F1 Team? Winning a championship – often it’s won by minimizing the lows, not so much getting great results once in a while. It’s really about consistency, and I think that’s what they’ve done this year. At Haas F1 Team, we’re not fighting for the championship. Our situation is a little bit different. We just need to score as many points as we can. We’re not always naturally fast enough to be in the points. We have to really try and overachieve on our best weekends to try and get those points.
Гюнтер Щайнер:
The Far East swing involved plenty of highs and lows for Haas F1 Team. You had to overcome two crashes – one in Malaysia and another in Japan – yet you came away with a total of seven points to regain seventh in the constructors standings. Talk about how the team handled that adversity and then delivered when it was time to race. Two of the three weekends we came away with points, which is always what we go for. For sure we made our job difficult with having crashes in the free practice sessions – that doesn’t help. But what we have proven is that the mechanics in the garage can handle it. For sure, they would rather not change all the parts on the car into the night, but it was done diligently. The cars had no issues when they went racing. They were in very good shape. Coming away with points in two out of three races was a success. It’s very tough, and to hold onto seventh in the constructors standings will be very challenging. We will not give up. We will fight for it. Were those points finishes more gratifying for the crew, knowing how far they had to come to get that kind of result? Absolutely. These are people who have been doing this a long time, and they know it happened because of them. Everybody stands behind them and are proud of what they did. Japan was obviously the high point of the Far East swing with a double-points finish. How important was that result as the team heads into its home race – the United States Grand Prix? It’s always motivating. What these guys work for is success. For us, success is to be scoring points. We scored with two cars for the second time since we entered Formula One, which is less than two years. Everybody is pumped up and now we come to the United States, the home country of Haas F1 Team. For sure it’s motivating and everybody wants to keep it going. Japan’s Suzuka Circuit has been a strong venue for Haas F1 Team. It was the first track where you got both cars into Q3, and it was the scene of the team’s second double-points finish. How does that track seemingly play to Haas F1 Team’s strengths? Our car, last year and this year, is very good on technical circuits with high-speed corners. Maybe there’s a little bit of luck, as well. I would say Suzuka is one of the most, if not the most technical track on the calendar. A lot of the car needs to be good, and the drivers need to perform at a high level. It came together twice in the two years we’ve been there. How do you attempt to transfer a strong finish in Japan to another strong finish at COTA? There is no recipe to that one. We just go out in FP1, see where we are, and go from there. As I always say, to make predictions this year, in the midfield, is impossible. Nobody can predict it. People wrote us off after Malaysia. They said we’d scored the last of our points this year. Then we came back in Japan with two cars in the points. Anything can happen. It doesn’t depend only on how we are doing, but how good the other teams are. That’s obvious, but by being so tight, anything can happen. Last year we scored a point at COTA and we’ll try to do better this year. You’ve said previously that some upgrades to the Haas VF-17 were planned for COTA. What are they? It’s the last upgrade for our car this year. The modifications are on the bargeboard sides and on the floor of the car. It’s easily recognizable when you see the car what has changed. For an upgrade, how long is the process from original idea to when it becomes reality and is bolted onto the racecar? It depends what the upgrade is. It depends on how big it is and how intricate it is to make the parts. Sometimes you find something that is better, but it’s not efficient to do it, so you wait until you’ve got more stuff to put on the car. It can vary from one month to three months.” Even as development work on teams’ 2017 cars has stopped, the midfield seems as competitive as ever. Is this due to teams fine-tuning what they have? If so, where can gains be made during this last stretch of races? To find the right setup and to get the tires to work. All this year, to get the tires to work has been the most important thing. That’s what we’ll be focusing on. How important is the United States Grand Prix to Haas F1 Team and to Formula One’s recognition in America? COTA is a very recognized race. Everybody likes it within Formula One. They have good ticket sales – more than a quarter of a million attending – which is fantastic. The track is very exciting. There is nothing bad to say about COTA. It has added something very good to the calendar by being present again in the United States, which is still the biggest economy in the world. I think everybody looks to come here, and a lot of people look forward to watching it on TV. Would you like to see another Formula One race in America? Sure, I’d love all the races to be in America. It would be less travel! Obviously, we cannot have that, but one or two, I think there is space for that. It should be in a big city where there’s a big population and where there’s a good fan base. Miami, Los Angeles and New York would be fantastic places, even Las Vegas could work. I don’t think there is a shortage of good places to go to. It’s more where can we get it done as soon as possible. Would another Formula One race in America accentuate or take away from COTA’s presence in Formula One? There is enough of a market to have a second race in the United States. It’s a big country. As long as it’s not close to Austin, I think it would work. Austin has become a destination venue for the Formula One industry, much like Singapore and Monaco. Why does the city resonate so well with those in Formula One? I just think it’s a cool city. There’s a lot of stuff you don’t have anywhere else. It’s not like just any other city we go to. It’s a cool city with a good vibe. People like it there. The climate is good, the racetrack is good and the facilities are nice. That’s why everybody loves going to Austin. It was announced that 2017 will be NBC’s last year broadcasting Formula One in the United States before ESPN takes over in 2018. NBC has broadcasted Formula One content exclusively since 2013 and played an integral part in promoting Haas F1 Team’s debut last year. Can you sum up your thoughts on NBC’s contributions to the growth of Formula One in America? When you see somebody go – somebody who did a good job and helped us grow – it’s sad. NBC has been supportive of us and believed in us and we have a great relationship with all their team. They know what they’re talking about – they’re experts. It’s sad to see people, or companies, go somewhere else. On behalf of Haas F1 Team, I’d like to thank everybody involved in it, from the producers, cameramen, the reporters and commentators – they helped us a lot.


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