Romain Grosjean has declared his eagerness for the FIA Formula 1 2020 World Championship to get going ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.
F1 will finally return to action at the Red Bull Ring after a period without racing stretching back to the final race of 2019 in Abu Dhabi, amid the consequences felt worldwide by the coronavirus pandemic.
With the drivers unable to test the cars for much of the period during the extended time without racing, speculation has arisen over their preparation ahead of the opening race but Grosjean believes he is feeling better than any at other points in his racing career.
“I think physically I’m better than I’ve ever been. Obviously, the neck is the hard one to keep going.
“Mentally I’m also very much ready. ‘I’m very eager to go racing“, Grosjean added.
Haas F1 Team was the only outfit on the F1 grid that decided not to take up the option of testing one of their older generation of cars ahead of the return to Grand Prix action.
However, Grosjean does not think that will impact the team once the cars hit the track come Friday.
“We haven’t had the chance to drive our car like some of the other teams, but I don’t think it will be an issue when we get back to racing in Austria.”
Due to the cancellation of several events already to this point and the desire from Liberty Media to reach the 15-18 mark on the calendar, both the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone will host two races each this year.
Despite the unusual circumstances created by COVID-19, Grosjean has acknowledged that no firm conclusions about Haas’ 2019 challenger can be drawn from the double-header.
“No, because it’s only one race track and one layout – a particular one too at the Red Bull Ring.
“I don’t think we can assess how the cars behaves after the two races in Austria.”
Haas suffered one of their worst weekends of the season in Austria last year when both cars dramatically fell through the field throughout the race and Grosjean is hoping that the team can avoid a repeat of that this weekend.
“I do hope it’s going to be working well there so we can start our season on a high”, the French driver said.
“It’s going to be very different”
The start of the 2020 season will also witness a landmark for F1 as the first event to take place in the history of the sport without fans in attendance and Grosjean is hopeful that it will not be long before spectators can begin to return.
“It’s going to be very different. We’re going to miss the support of the fans and miss seeing them in the grandstands.
“We’ll miss the enthusiastic atmosphere they bring to a weekend.
“It’ll be strange, it’ll be different, but everyone will adjust and get used to it“, Grosjean admits.
“We’re going racing, which is important for everyone, so then hopefully we can open the doors to the public very soon and get back to normal.”