Grosjean wanted to leave Haas as they ‘were going nowhere’

Michelle Foster
Romain Grosjean receives a rousing ovation from the crowd. Laguna Seca September 2021.

Romain Grosjean receives a rousing ovation from the crowd on the podium after finishing third in an IndyCar race. Laguna Seca September 2021.

Romain Grosjean says he was “gone already” from Haas even before Guenther Steiner called to tell him the team needed pay drivers for 2021.

Grosjean bade farewell to Formula 1 last season, the Frenchman already knowing he was on his way out even before his time on the grid was cut short.

He missed the final two races of the 2020 season after suffering burn injuries when he crashed at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix, his VF-20 breaking into two and bursting into flames.

It was not the exit Grosjean had hoped for, nor the season he had wanted, the driver scoring only two points in 15 races.

But with Haas struggling to close in on the top 10 on race days, the team having finished 2019 down in ninth place and repeating that the following year, Grosjean wanted out from the very first race of the season.

“I was done from the first race in 2020,” he told Chris Medland in the new Motor Sport podcast series ‘My Big Break’.

“We had not done any testing in four months, we went out in the first free practice, first lap I lost the brakes in Turn 3 and in the race again I lost the brakes.

“I thought ‘you know what, that team is going nowhere, there is no opportunity, nothing you can show with that car’.”

He added: “It’s quite funny, I was sitting right here, talking to my wife at 7pm, and one day I said ‘I’m not carrying on with Haas’.

“By the time I’d finished my sentence, Guenther called and told me he needed funding, he needed pay drivers to keep it going, but for me I was gone already and finished in F1.”

With his time in F1 over, the 35-year-old moved to America to race for Dale Coyne in the IndyCar series.

With three podiums on the board but also missing three oval races, he was 15th in his debut season.

It was a difficult move going from F1 to IndyCar, but one Grosjean has relished.

“To put together the deal to make it with Dale Coyne and go from there [meant] being far from my family, making probably zero money, and going racing, fighting, going back to the roots, which I enjoy,” he said.

“No personal trainer with me, doing my own flight, picking up the rental car, going old school and driving my bus. And actually, I really enjoyed it.”

Next year he will race for Andretti Autosport.

“It’s a completely new chapter,” he said. “Even in my wildest dreams, I don’t think [it] could have gone as good as I planned this year – from enjoying the driving pleasure, the pole positions, the podiums to the support from the fans. It’s been incredible.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Grosjean: "Haas were going nowhere"

Romain Grosjean has revealed he was finished with F1 from the first race of 2020.