Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean is keen to return to Spa-Francorchamps, a circuit that has historically been one of the drivers’ favorite locations to race. The multitude of changes in weather conditions usually turns the Belgian Grand Prix in an unpredictable event.
Spa has high-speed straights and corners combined with a tight and twisting section, where the car relies on a good set up so it can tackle all the different aspects of the track. “It’s just a great track. There are very high-speed corners and there are a lot of turns, different types, some high speed, some low – just a good variety overall. It gives you a good feeling to drive.”
“You always see different approaches at Spa. Either you’re fast in sector one and sector three, which are the high-speed sectors, or you’re fast in sector two, which has more of the corners. Both work pretty well, so it’s a matter of how you want to approach the race.”
“The first lap you go through [Eau Rouge] flat out, you feel sick, like you’re on a rollercoaster because it goes up and down. You’re thinking, will I make that for the race? But, once you’ve done it once, it’s all ok and you just enjoy the g-forces”, he explains.
“Eau Rouge is certainly a corner where you don’t want to have a mistake. Qualifying in clean air is certainly quite good. On the other hand, if you get a big tow, you can have a massive advantage going into turn five. There’s a bit of an argument for both philosophies there.”
Grosjean’s most recent podium was scored in last year’s event when he started ninth and made it all the way to third, finishing behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
“We had a good car in Belgium last year. I had qualified fourth, but started ninth due to a gearbox penalty. We had a good strategy and good timing with a safety car, too. I managed to overtake a few cars and get on the podium. Honestly, it was one of those weekends where everything just goes to plan.”
“It was great for all the guys, and for myself. We had a perfect weekend on the track. For everyone involved, it was a very good feeling. I guess it was kind of the same feeling as scoring the first points for Haas earlier this season.”
The French driver insists a return to podium finishes is always possible with determination and hard work.
“If I turn up at a race weekend not thinking that I’m the best, or that I can’t win the race, I’d be better off staying at home with my children. I always want to be on the podium. I always want to try to win the race. Of course, it depends a lot on the car, but in the end, you can never give up and you always strive to give your best. That’s the mentality you should have.”