Romain Grosjean heads into the penultimate round of the 2018 Formula 1 season in Brazil this weekend with an eye on a return to the points after failing to break into the top ten in either the United States or Mexican Grand Prix.
The Haas F1 Team endured their toughest weekend of the season last time out at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and lost ground in the Constructors’ Championship to the Renault Sport Formula One Team, but Grosjean feels finishing either fourth or fifth in the standings this season would be a great achievement for a team in just their third season in Formula 1.
“We always look at the timesheet,” said Grosjean. “The battle is quite tight, quite good. We lost a bit of ground at our home grand prix and in Mexico, which is a shame. We’re trying to make up for it, and we’ll be giving it 100 percent.
“It’s got a big significance for us. Fourth or fifth would be a big achievement for Haas F1 Team in its third season of competition.”
Grosjean says he enjoys coming to the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo and feels the track should suit Haas better than the last weekend in Mexico, and he enjoys racing there even though there are not many opportunities across a lap to relax.
“Interlagos should be a good grand prix for us,” said the Frenchman. “It’s a track I particularly like. I’m very much looking forward to going there.
“The tarmac has been good but the curbs have been changed, which is a bit of a shame as it’s lost a bit of the spirit of Interlagos. Generally, it’s an amazing track. The tarmac – we now have a good understanding of it – so, hopefully, we’ll have a good weekend.
“It’s a pretty tough track with not much opportunity for a rest. Even in the straight lines you can’t rest as much as you would like. You’re at altitude as well, at 800 meters (2,625 feet), so coming from Mexico that’s nothing, but you’re still not at sea level.
“The weather can be challenging. It can be very warm and humid. It’s a pretty intense challenge but, at the end of the day, that’s what we’re looking for.”
Grosjean says the Brazilian Grand Prix is a special weekend, and the history that surrounds the event at Interlagos is intertwined with the legendary Ayrton Senna, and the Frenchman remembers his victory there in 1991.
“Brazil is always special because of Ayrton Senna,” said Grosjean. “He was one of the biggest names in Formula 1.
“Interlagos is a special place. There’s so much history there. On raceday you’ve got so much support from the fans. I remember Ayrton winning there in 1991 when he couldn’t hold the trophy in the air because he was so tired and had the pain in his arms from driving.”