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Ромен Грожан:
You raced at Circuit Paul Ricard in a GT car. When was that, what team was it for and what do you remember about the race? It was in 2010 with Matech Competition. I don’t think we had an amazing race, but it’s great to be going back there racing. How do you prepare for a venue you’ve never been to before in a Formula One car? The simulator is our only option, and I spent last Wednesday in the simulator. How does the simulator compare to actually being in a racecar, at speed, at a circuit? It gives you a rough idea, but it’s not initially super easy when it’s a new circuit because the correlation may not be at its best. It gives you an idea where it goes, but it’s not like Barcelona, for example, where we do the same lap time and get the same feeling. Is the simulator most used for understanding a circuit’s layout and braking points, or is it more involved than that? It’s more involved than that. It’s more for the setup of the car and for developing the car rather than for driver feedback, or the driving itself. Haas F1 Team is still relatively new, but Circuit Paul Ricard is new for everyone. Do you feel the French Grand Prix is perhaps the most level playing field because everyone is, theoretically, starting from the same slate? Actually, it’s the opposite. The more experience you have, the more you can prepare for a new venue. We’ll do our best. We’re in a good place with the car, so I think we should be good. The French Grand Prix is your home grand prix. You’ve talked about how much you’re looking forward to it, but now that it’s here, what are your expectations? I want to get a good weekend, have some luck, get my first points of the season, and get a lot of support from the fans. As much pride as there is with a home grand prix, there are also more demands on your time. How do you balance all of the outside influences with what you need to do behind the wheel of your racecar? Well, we go to a grand prix to race, and to race well. That’s the number one priority. Of course, I want to give as much as I can to the fans, but the racing on Sunday is what I’m going for, and that’s what we need to focus on. While the most recent grand prix in Montreal didn’t produce the result you would’ve liked, it did seem to be a race weekend where you felt the most comfortable in the racecar. Is that accurate? If so, was there anything in particular that made you feel right with the car? I liked the updates we had. It really felt like it gave me what I was lacking earlier on in the season. I thought P7 in Montreal would be ours. Not being able to qualify didn’t help us, but we made up a lot of ground in the race. Unfortunately, there was too much ground to make up. Does the feel you had in the car at Montreal make you look forward to Circuit Paul Ricard – another power circuit where the attributes of the Haas VF-18 can be exploited? I think we should be in a nice place at Paul Ricard. I’m always looking forward to jumping back in the car. I just love driving an F1 car. Haas F1 Team brought significant upgrades to its racecars in Montreal. How did they improve the car and what are your expectations for how they’ll perform in the French Grand Prix? Hopefully, they’ll be even more powerful at Paul Ricard than they were in Canada, just because of the downforce. They gave us some front-end on the car, and that really helped me. The French Grand Prix marks the beginning of an unprecedented three-race stretch. What are your thoughts on this batch of races, and how do you balance the travel and time at the track with your home life? It’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be tough, and very tiring. Hopefully, we start on a positive at Paul Ricard and we can keep that positive, which will make three weeks much easier. There is talk of increasing the number of races on the Formula One calendar, exceeding the current slate of 21 races. What is your take on the amount of races in Formula One, and do you have an ideal number in mind? No, not really. I love racing, but it’s tough on everyone when we’ve got to travel a lot. Probably the first thing would be to get a calendar where maybe Australia wasn’t on its own as a race, and maybe attached to somewhere like Singapore, or wherever in Asia, so you don’t have to do so much traveling. But I imagine it’s quite complex to put a calendar together.
Кевин Магнусен:
How do you prepare for a venue you’ve never been to before in a Formula One car? I’ve been to Circuit Paul Ricard in a World Series by Renault car. It’s going to be a little bit different in a Formula One car, but at least I know the track – which way the corners go, braking points, and so on. I don’t think it will take long to adjust in a Formula One car. Have you spent time in the simulator to at least get an idea of what a lap in a Formula One car is like at Circuit Paul Ricard? I haven’t driven Paul Ricard in the simulator. Thankfully, I know the track from previous seasons in World Series by Renault. How does the simulator compare to actually being in a racecar, at speed, at a circuit? The simulator is a good tool to prepare for new circuits, or new setups, or new cars, but it doesn’t exactly feel like the real thing. Is the simulator most used for understanding a circuit’s layout and braking points, or is it more involved than that? As a driver, the simulator is useful when you’re learning new tracks. It’s also useful when you’re learning new systems. Like when you join a new team, the simulator is really helpful to get to know all the names of the different switches and buttons on the steering wheel. Of course, the engineers use the simulator in a bit more advanced way, using all the numbers and the data you get out of it. Haas F1 Team is still relatively new, but Circuit Paul Ricard is new for everyone. Do you feel the French Grand Prix is perhaps the most level playing field because everyone is, theoretically, starting from the same slate? It’s a new track, and I think everyone will get to grips with it very quickly. Most people will have driven it lots in the simulator. I’m sure it’ll be pretty level with what we’ve been through already this year. Haas F1 Team brought significant upgrades to its racecars in Montreal. How did they improve the car and what are your expectations for how they’ll perform in the French Grand Prix? The upgrades were a very positive step. We didn’t have a great weekend in Canada, but I think the car is pretty good at most circuits. We struggle a little bit at low-speed circuits, but I think Paul Ricard is a little higher speed, so hopefully we can be better there. The French Grand Prix marks the beginning of an unprecedented three-race stretch. What are your thoughts on this batch of races, and how do you balance the travel and time at the track with your home life? In those three weeks there’s not going to be much home life, but I’m going to bring my girlfriend with me, and another friend at one of the races, so bringing people out to the races is the best way of staying in touch. There is talk of increasing the number of races on the Formula One calendar, exceeding the current slate of 21 races. What is your take on the amount of races in Formula One, and do you have an ideal number in mind? I don’t really mind if there are more races. It’s okay for me. I enjoy racing, so more races would be more fun.
Гюнтер Щайнер:
How do you prepare for a venue you’ve never been to before? You take the data you’re given and you just try to do your best. Everybody’s in the same boat. You do your simulator testing, you run your computer simulations, and then just go there and work the weekend like any other one. Haas F1 Team is still relatively new, but Circuit Paul Ricard is new for everyone. Do you feel the French Grand Prix is perhaps the most level playing field because everyone is, theoretically, starting from the same slate? The big teams will always be ahead of everyone else. They just have more resources to prepare. Even with little known information, they get the last little bit out of it with a lot of manpower and effort. They always get more out than the smaller teams, which have to work with fewer resources. Haas F1 Team brought significant upgrades to its racecars in Montreal. How did they improve the car and what are your expectations for how they’ll perform in the French Grand Prix? The data showed exactly what the upgrades were doing in Canada. We got the confirmation that the upgrades work. Romain was very complimentary about the upgrades. For sure, France and the coming races should show more of what the upgrades are actually capable of doing. Between the upgrades and some crashes, spare parts have been at a premium. Where does the team stand with spares as we head into this three-week stretch of races? We’re actually not in a bad place. We’re still tight, because with three races in three weeks, you just cannot catch up with producing parts should we have some damages. Luckily, we didn’t have any big damage in Canada, except the nose which was damaged by the groundhog. Otherwise, we got away pretty good. We should have more spares for France and, hopefully, we don’t have any accidents there or in Austria. That will bring us up to a normal quantity of spare parts after the stretch of three races. Grosjean appeared very happy with the Haas VF-18 at Montreal and was looking forward to this slate of races, and while Magnussen wasn’t as comfortable as Grosjean was at Montreal, he was also looking forward to Paul Ricard, Red Bull Ring and Silverstone because he feels these power circuits better suit the Haas VF-18. What is your take? They should, in theory. Everybody points to that direction that our car is best on these kinds of tracks, like Barcelona, Austria and France. Let’s see what we can do. We are all very confident to getting back to a good form. In Canada, Romain was very fast but, unfortunately, he had to start last, and that’s never good. We are all very confident we can have good results in the next three races. You ran an updated Ferrari engine at Monaco and on into Montreal. How timely is having the latest and greatest Ferrari power for this slate of power circuits? Having the latest and greatest engine is always good because the development always gives some advantage. Either you get more efficiency, more power, more drivability. The engine was good in Monte Carlo, where it was introduced. For sure, we’re happy to have it going forward until we get the next upgrade, which will be even better and greater. For now though, the proof was in Canada, where you have a lot of long straights where you need the engine at its maximum. We are very confident we will not have an issue with the engine. Scuderia Ferrari has a series-leading three wins this year. Considering the technical partnership Haas F1 Team has with Ferrari, how does their success help Haas F1 Team? If a power unit is good enough to win races, it should be good enough for us to get points. It’s always good if they do well, because that normally puts us in the position that we’ll do well in our own battle in the midfield. It was noted at Montreal how Valtteri Bottas had to work hard to conserve enough fuel to make it to the end of the race. As we hit this batch of power circuits at Paul Ricard, Red Bull Ring and Silverstone, how much does fuel management come into play? Fuel management is something everybody has to deal with. Drivers don’t like to manage fuel. They like to go as fast as possible. As soon as you have to lift-and-coast to manage fuel, they’re not happy. With the regulations as they are now, this is what we need to do. Fuel levels are set to increase in 2019, from the current allotment of 105 kilograms (27.3 gallons) to 110 kilograms (28.6 gallons) in order for drivers to use the full power of their car’s engine at all times. What can a driver do with those five extra kilograms (1.3 gallons) of fuel? Does it give them the freedom to push as hard as they want, whenever they want? On a lot of the circuits, yes, the drivers can push as hard as they want because they have more than enough fuel to go the distance. But on some other circuits there is still some lift-and-coast, and lift-and-coast is sometimes done for other reasons, not only for fuel consumption. Sometimes, it’s to save your brakes or to save your tires. But in theory, most of the tracks with a 110-kilogram limit allow you to be wide open for the whole race. It does add some strategy to the race, as you can either go wide open or save tires, and whatever suits you or your car better, then that’s the choice you make. The 2019 aero package, which will see a simplified front wing with a larger span, simplified brake ducts with no winglets, and a wider and deeper rear wing, is nearly complete. How have these changes affected the design of next year’s car and, also, when do you stop developing this year’s car to focus on next year’s car? We’ve had to do a lot of studies with the new regulations. It’s just the details getting sorted out at the moment. For sure, it will trigger that we switch over to the 2019 car a little bit earlier than we envisioned at the beginning of the year, but so will everyone else. It’s not a big change. For the aerodynamic engineers, it’s a good challenge. The exact date when we switch over, we don’t know yet. The jury’s still out on how big the change is. There was speculation the cars would be a lot slower, but I don’t believe that one. There are a lot of intelligent engineers working on it, and we will find a way around it to make the new regulations work as well as the old ones, and have a very similar speed to what we have this year.


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