Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Singapore, 2015

Grosjean and Gutierrez tipped for 2016 Haas seats

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez are rumoured to be the top candidates for the seats at new F1 team Haas in 2016.


Comment of the day

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2015
Mercedes lost their competitive edge in Singapore
The sane explanations for Mercedes’ difficult weekend are more convincing than the conspiracy theories:

Ferrari was definitely the closest on track with predominantly low-speed corners, like Monaco and the Hungaroring. Vettel even had a searing pace coming from the back in Montreal. And they’ve also been the closest here last year too.

I think Mercedes do have a capable aero package, it’s just that aero does not weight as much more here compared to mechanical grip as it does on other tracks – and in terms of mechanical grip, James Allison seems to have nailed this Ferrari about as much as he nailed his 2012-2013 Lotuses.

Mercedes cannot use its other big strength, power, either.

All in all, I guess it’s been a perfect storm once (again, like in Sepang, although with other bunch of factors lining up): less reliance on aero, on power, higher tyre pressures, bumpier track, long layout to accentuate differences and Vettel and Ricciardo who’ve always done exceptionally well here (probably only Alonso matches them here).

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On this day in F1

Lewis Hamilton won the Singapore Grand Prix on this day last year after team mate Nico Rosberg’s car broke down.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 78 comments on “Grosjean and Gutierrez tipped for 2016 Haas seats”

    1. Assuming the Grosjean to Haas stories are accurate, I hope that Renault (née Lotus) replace him with Vergne. It would be great to see him return to F1.

      1. +1 Even if it’s not accurate, Vergne to Haas would be nice.

      2. I´d assume Grosjean wouldn´t leave the team, and Maldonado wouldn´t be confirmed to stay, if Renault took over. To me this looks like they are pulling out and not take over Lotus.

        1. Makes me wonder if PDVSA might be buying a stake in the team rather than just buying Pastor a seat.

        2. To me, this looks like they are taking over Lotus (which is what all the rumours say) and Grosjean is jumping ship because he doesn’t want another year with a hopeless engine in the back of his car.

      3. +2 so much for Palmer.

        1. Why are you sad for Palmer? The guy is considerably overrated – we’re talking about somebody who was the worst rookie in GP2 when he joined that series (managing to be beaten by several drivers who didn’t even complete a full season) and managed to get himself thrashed by Marcus Ericsson in GP2.

          1. Nasr beat him in 2013 too.

      4. I would think that Pic has a good shot – it might have been a way to settle the dispute (see Spa), and he can bring some money from his family business, who also have long standing ties with Renault @tdog, and its clear that Renault is looking at where to get the budgets from (why else re-sign Pastor).

        Also, next years car will either have to run a mercedes engine, or be somewhat compromised to fit the Renault engine (as by now the mechanics are probably pretty much done for next years car), so its not all that likely they will be able to make a big step up next year.

      5. Expect fierce competition; the entire F1 refugee community now racing in Formula E is craving for the new Renault seat (s).

      6. @tdog Nee Toleman :)

    2. I have often wondered how the teams are supplied tyres.
      Do the teams choose the tyres from a pool or the supplier determines the sets a team is given.
      It is possible for the tyres to be exactly the same in terms of compound but just a very old batch.

      1. That scenario would certainly fit the circumstances but I doubt the teams would not have safeguards in place to prevent such an “error” taking place.

      2. it’s random but ask any driver and they’ll tell you no two sets of the same compound are identical – unlike with previous suppliers who had a high level of consistency. ;)

    3. It’d be the end of his career if he decides to move to Haas. No offence to the american team but the chances of them coming to the sport and doing well in the short term are low to say the least.

      Romain going there would be like Timo Glock switching to Virgin. He’s still in the sweetspot of his career, way too early to go down the order and endure years of development work. Gutierrez and Vergne should go to Haas, Grosjean should stay at Renault if they decide to buy Lotus.

      1. MAL has been confirmed for 2016. Do you think Renault can run with that? I think Renault is out for the time being.

      2. The rumor is that Haas will be for one year only and that it’s really just so that Ferrari can evaluate him for 2017.

      3. I wouldn’t go comparing Grosjean’s (possible) move to Glock’s. The reason Virgin and the other new teams were so poor was because they were structured around a budget cap that was never implemented. Hence, they were unable to cope with the spiralling development costs and were miles off the pace. Haas knows what he’s getting into and is taking a very smart approach. This could be more like Barrichello moving to Stewart than Glock to Virgin.

      4. Wonder if somebody has tipped off Grosjean that the Renault buyout of Lotus is not going to happen for sure. (Somebody like Prost maybe?) This could make sense with Maldonado and his PDVSA money staying at Lotus. Guess it’s all just guessing at the moment.

        1. @bullmello Apparently Prost rates Vergne so I’m sure that’s who they’d look to sign and partner with Maldonado, now that PDVSA, Total, Infiniti and a historical payment mean there is enough budget to be able to.

      5. you don’t know much about the Haas F1 team based on that statement. or RoGro’s aspirations for the Ferrari seat in 2017.

      6. They lured him with the possibility to replace Kimi in 2017. That’s easily a deal breaker.

      7. Sadly @fer-no65.. I think you are absolutely spot on with that. Unless it’s a stepping stone to joining Ferrari in 2017, his F1 career will very probably teeter out like many other promising drivers of the past.

    4. I’m sure Haas is taking advantage of Gutierrez being mexican and bringing a ton of money. GUT has done nothing but embarrass himself in 39 races with Sauber.
      C33 was a disaster, but still GUT got beaten by a mediocre pilot such as SUT. not only that….everybody still remember Rascasse mistake. Not even STE did that.
      The C32 years say HUL score in 10 races and GUT in just 1. So….good car, bad car, good partner or mediocre partner GUT always is behind.
      Dont get me wrong. He is a cool guy and he has the aptitude. But his head is weak. He lacks of actitude which he hides behind a pile of dolars.
      I would rather see VER in Haas.

      1. While I wouldn’t be as harsh on him, I certainely don’t see why Gutierrez is so overhyped these days. Is it because he’s not racing? I don’t even understand why he is the #1 test and reserve driver at Ferrari while JEV who clearly is a very very good driver is only the sim driver. Surely Ferrari doesn’t need his cash that bad?

        Anyway. I see why Haas would want him (budget would appreciate), but he clearly is no match for a Grosjean or a JEV. And I’m not saying that because I’m a Frenchman.

    5. COTD; referencing Alonso’s success at Singapore always makes me wince.

      1. Alonso finished top 4 there between 2009-2014, including a podium in the 2009 Renault, grand-chelem in 2010 and 4th in the ugly and slow F14 T.

        1. But it’s the win that is most memorable.

      2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! - @omarr-pepper (@)
        21st September 2015, 2:11

        @hohum maybe @atticus-2 also admires Lance Armstrong’s victories at the Tour de France!

        Just kidding ok?

      3. Symmonds: Guilty
        Flabio: Guilty
        Piquet Jr: Guilty
        Renault F1: Guilty

        but the guy who takes the win is innocent and allowed to keep the trophy and accolades. Ok so Alonso isn’t guilty. I can accept that. But his team is guilty and their actions literally handed him the win. That has tainted this race and the sport ever since. Sometimes justice outweighs PR, something the FIA and FOM no longer care about. All they care about is profits and public image to increase those profits. No wonder F1 is just a fancy name for hedge fund.

        1. Not just the race but the World Championship result that year!

        2. Alain Prost – Suzuka 1989 – Guilty
          Ayrton Senna – Suzuka 1990 – Guilty
          Michael Schumacher – Adelaide 1994 – Guilty
          So what?

    6. Why Romain, why?
      Well, if true it’s kind of obvious that Romain hopes it will give him a foot in the door at Ferrari ready for when Raikkonen leaves. But it’s a big risk as Verstappen will surely be the top person on Ferrari’s wishlist for 2017. And Vettel’s going nowhere soon. Big call.

      1. If he fails with Haas, at least he will have some courage to show for. Staying in lotus -even if renault buys it- would be a waste of time. Best case scenario, he can jump to Ferrari in 2017, worst case scenario, he retires in haas building a solid mid fielder team. I guess that’s what he can hope for.

      2. Exactly this. Much as 2016 at Haas might be a year for Ferrari to assess his performance, the same will count for Verstappen at STR with a Ferrari engine. And I think Verstappen will be far superior to Grosjean

        1. Not far superior. Grosjean is very good and still underrated.

    7. One really would have thought a lack of boost pressure in the plenum would have triggered alarms on the pitwall and at the factory but somehow it went unnoticed for some time. I imagine the hoseclamps will be replaced rather than re-used in future and a technical bulletin on tightening torque limits will go out to all MB engined teams.

      1. I guess nightrace, jetlag and temperatures played together to see the teams making more mistakes the last weekend, because we saw quite a few pitstop issues. And off course the SW thing for Rosberg before the race (apparently it was in Lewis car too but they fixed it before it was a problem, after finding it on Rosbergs car), and this blunder @hohum

      2. @hohum team radio did indicate the team couldn’t see the problem immediately when Hamilton reported it. I think it took them a whole lap and some visible loss of pace to get the data.

        Possibly a telemetry issue caused by the EM problem around turn 19?

        1. Hamilton broke the rules discussing this over the radio. Why has no -one complained about this?

    8. @keithcollantine

      ‘sup with that linkedin “title(source)” hyperlink?

    9. NObody will mention that a newbie and not so bright RSI mopped the floor with STE? First MER now RSi….I dont understand the logic of Manor. Does anybody know if STE brings a lot of money?

      1. @mumito Yes, I think so.

      2. I don’t think Merhi wiped the floor with Stevens…

    10. BUT has himself as one of the best drivers. His judgement is evidently wrong. I’m not talking about 2000s Jenson, nowadays HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, RIC, KVY, HUL, VES, SAI, GRO, MAS, BOT, ALO, NAS are clearly better than him. He is fighting in PER, ERI, BUT, zone…just above MER, STE, RSI. Hi is for sure in the lower 25th percentile.
      And even comparing career wise…..You still have HAM, ALO, VET, RAI running.
      My point is he could be more humble. Or maybe he is enjoying his last races and microphones.

      1. No, all those are not CLEARLY better than Jenson Button…VES, SAI, GRO, NAS?? Don’t let your passions blind your judgement my friend…and if PER is such a bad driver as to put him in the bottom, how come he has been clearly driving better than the “great” HUL for a while now? He will finish this season ahead of him, he has raised his game a lot.

        Jenson Button is a WC, with a lot of experience (high car development capability) and he can still be fast. I would like to see him retire in a fast McLaren-Honda, I hope he gets it, he deserves it.

        Have a nice day Sauber!

      2. Hamilton should be more humble. It’s really grating that drivers like HAM and RAI ignore the younger drivers. ALO is all class and supports all the drivers.

        1. Alonso supports other drivers? What, you mean like how he egged on the booing at Italy in 2013? Or how about getting so upset that a rookie was beating him in 2007 that he tried blackmailing the team for preferential treatment. That was certainly not what I would call sporting and supportive of a then-young driver.

    11. here’s the image on the nutter in the middle of the track. shame you can’t see Vettel in the same shot to show how very dangerous it really was!

    12. Yeah sure it was only that clamp which prevented Hamilton from winning the GP and equalling Senna’s record. Vettel and Ricciardo had nothing to do with.

      Sometimes they do see a different race to the general public.

      1. Lesson learned. Never look in The Mirror.

    13. I noticed FOM didn’t show any replays of the intruder, I assume because they think they can pretend it never happened, la la la, security at F1 is awesome that way.

      1. I’ve heard he’s a member of the Strategy Group. One of the 12 mysterious yes-men who always vote with Bernie.

        1. I is probably the same principal as when there is an pitch intruder in Cricket or Rugby. The cameras avoid the intruder so the intruder does not get the publicity they are after.
          Also considering often pitch invaders in cricket are streakers they like to keep things G rated.
          Can’t imagine it would have been great live TV to see a car hit the guy.

      2. Perhaps he was a 70 year old Rolex wearer and Bernie didn’t want to upset him.

    14. Whatever you think of Grosjean’s decision if he moves to haas. What a boon would it be for haas! Fantastic driver.

      1. Agree.. if we assume Hulk is the one that turned them down (they’ve said someone they offered did so), then they’ve basically scooped one of the best 2 drivers that were available, that’s a very good start.

    15. I largely agree with atticus although I pointed out yesterday many reasons to why there must be either something wrong in what has changed in the Merc ever since monaco or a blunder by the team. I’ll point 2 other things out. Monaco is more extreme than Singapore and Singapore has a higher power and consumption ratio than Monaco, 1.5 is a gigantic leap. Perfects storms ha happened they dont mean 2 to 3 sec swing. 3rd point aero is reliant. People are stiffening their cars as much as possible to keep the aero in-line, what doesn’t matter here is aero efficiency as everyone will put max downforce, the slippery cars were well down the grid.

    16. Bad news for the McLaren youngsters. Button’s seat is likely to be vacant for 2016, but with Wehrlein a dead cert for Manor and JEV equally likely to line up at Renault, the guy that doesn’t land the seat is looking set to spend 2016 on the side-lines. But who will McLaren promote? The Dane who is already exasperated after a season as a reserve, or the Belgian on a meteoric rise through single seater racing and in the eyes of many, including my own, the hotter property? Is a Luizzi/Klien style shared drive possible?

      1. What indications have you seen that Jenson won’t continue with McLaren?

      2. @CountryGent And were will Mercedes place Ocon? Is Stevens on his way out at Manor?

    17. Rossi will be at haas that’s why hes been given five races with marusia this season. I would guess that Ferrari have pulled those strings. As hass will be there torro rosso next yr. Also I think have said they want at least 1 American driver.

    18. McLaren’s comments regarding windtunnels IMO means: Our windtunnel is ancient. We need a new one but with no investors or major sponsor we can’t afford it. So instead we will try to argue for increased CFD and ban windtunnels because we already have a room full of computers. We will frame it as a “cost reduction” argument which is in vogue these days. Problem solved!
      But what Eric seems to have forgotten is that CFD is software and with software junk in = junk out. I don’t believe it is possible to know if you are putting junk into CFD or getting junk out if you don’t have a windtunnel to check!

      1. I have to echo on that. RBR has to rebuild their windtunnel as well. They’re just dodging additional investment. I think that the only car designed only by using CFD was Marussia Virgin Racing. Need I say more?

        1. @boomerang

          I think that the only car designed only by using CFD was Marussia Virgin Racing. Need I say more?

          Actually, the 1994 Simtek S941, designed by the same Nick Wirth who designed the first two Virgin Racing cars, has been constructed without a wind-tunnel as well.

      2. You can always do convergence analysis, not 100€ effective, but probably close enough.

    19. @omarr-pepper : “Ferrari was (I don’t know how) forgetting to mention Kimi on the board for the photoshoot after the race, so Seb stopped the photo in order to include Kimi. I think that shows real team spirit.”

      That’s nice! Not so nice of SF though.

    20. I thought Maldonado drove a good race. That incident with Button was careless, but he thought better of vainly resisting to either Sauber and a Toro Rosso, if I remember correctly.

      1. True Pastor doesn’t take every single opportunity to have a collision, and you could say JB was optimistic with that move, as he was in Monaco on Heidfeld once upon a time. The question is would other drivers have put their car where Maldonado did, on the slow, dirty tight line, knowing the car behind would be going faster and committed?

        I felt it was a bit of a joint effort, but it’s always Maldonado who’s part of it, being too aggressive. I can’t believe Lotus have re-signed him; I reckon they desperately need his funds signed off and have an exit clause buried somewhere, for Renault to deploy.

    21. Thank you for the COTD, @keithcollantine. Next time I’ll try to get my act together when it comes to grammar. :)

      It’s a bit sad though that some people in the comments began arguing about the least important element of my comment, the Alonso reference.

      1. @atticus, My apologies, I did not intend to sideline your point.

    22. There could be many reasons for Grosjean’s decision to leave a squad that is about to become Renault F1 Team for Ferrari’s B-team that will most likely never win a race in F1. A tie-up with Ferrari is an obvious one. However, I believe that Grosjean knows more about Renault’s plans than we do and it is possible that he thinks they are not serious enough. There are many examples where a manufacturer fails big time in motorsports, such as NISSAN at the WEC this year. If Grosjean feels this might be the case with Renault because of lack of investment, strong management or commitment in general, then it probably makes sense to leave the long-term project that Renault F1 is going to be anyway and try his luck elsewhere.

      1. Renault looking to the likes of Infinity, Total and Pastor Maldonado’s PDVSA to field the bill does hint to a lack of resources being made available @girts, I wouldn’t be surprised if they told Grosjean to bring a budget if he wants to keep his seat too.

        1. He’s too good for that.

    23. I feel for Grosjean as hes probably thinking how hes career has turned out from podium places to nowhere. But to go to Haas i would of thought would be the wrong decision for his career

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