Romain Grosjean has become the first driver to be confirmed for the new-for-2016 Haas F1 Team after being unveiled in a press conference in the United States on Tuesday.
The Frenchman has decided to leave the Lotus F1 Team after four seasons and ten podium finishes, the most recent of which was at this season’s Belgian Grand Prix, and will lead Haas in their debut season next year.
“What Gene Haas and everyone at Haas F1 Team is building is impressive, and I’m very proud to be a part of it,” said Grosjean. “Formula One is incredibly competitive and the only way to succeed is by finding new ways of doing things.
“This is a new opportunity with a new team that is taking a very different approach to Formula One. I believe in their approach and they believe in me.
“While I am committed to giving my absolute best to my current team in these last five races, I am very excited for what the future holds at Haas F1 Team.”
It has been no secret that the team had been seeking an experienced driver for their debut season, and Founder and Chairman of the team, Gene Haas, believes Grosjean fits the bill perfectly.
“We wanted an experienced driver capable of developing our car and our race team into one that can score points and better itself each race and each season,” said Haas. “We found him in Romain Grosjean.
“I’ve been involved in motorsports for a long time and learned early on the most crucial component is the driver. Romain has strong credentials and he will be an important asset to Haas F1 Team.”
Team Principal Guenther Steiner believes Grosjean will be able to give excellent technical feedback to how the new Haas car performs, and feels the Frenchman’s comments will be crucial to how the team develops.
“In addition to being an experienced Formula One driver, Romain is very technically minded,” said Steiner. “He gives strong, specific feedback as to how the car performs.
“As we develop our car in testing and throughout the season, his insight will be crucial.”