Baku, June 16, AZERTAC
French driver of Haas F1 Team Romain Grosjean highlights his preparations for the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe in Baku.
-How do you prepare for a venue you’ve never been to before?
“We had a session on the simulator, and that’s about everything you can do.”
-How does the simulator compare to actually being in a racecar, at speed, at a circuit?
“The simulators are getting better year after year, but it’s still not a real racecar.”
-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. There’s a lot you can do with a simulator, which is great, but nothing is as good as being in the car out on track. On the simulator, you can try a few different setup ideas for direction. You can also try different philosophies and updates you’d like to try on the car later in the year and before you prepare them for actual racing.”
-Haas F1 Team is new, so it doesn’t have any notes from last year. But at Baku, no one has any notes from last year. Do you feel that Baku is perhaps the most level playing field because it’s new for everyone?
“In some respects yes and in others, no. The more experience you have as a team, the better prepared you are for new tracks and different layouts. On the other hand, no one knows what to expect from Baku, so that’s going to be interesting for us.”
-Baku is projected to be the fastest street circuit in Formula One, and its layout is amid a historic section of the city. Is there a current venue you can compare it to?
“It’s going to be very interesting to go to Baku. It’s certainly a circuit that’s very different from everything we’ve been used to. We’ll have to see how it goes in real life.”
-Despite having only seen Baku City Circuit on a simulator, do you have a favorite part, or a part you’re most curious to see in person?
“I think the old part, alongside the castle, will be quite interesting.”
-Describe a lap around Baku City Circuit.
“There are very long, straight lines and a lot of 90 degree corners with low curves. There’s a very high section up to the castle and down again to the last corner, which will be quite interesting.”