Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean Visits Haas Automation at Industrie 2016, Paris
Hotfooting it from an outstanding performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix – a fifth place finish to add to his sixth place in the season opener in Australia, Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean spent two hours on the Haas Automation booth at Industrie 2016, Paris, where he answered questions and signed autographs for hundreds of visitors to the annual machine tool and manufacturing show.
Affable and smiling as always, and surrounded by the latest Haas CNC Machine tools, Romain began by explaining how and why he took the decision to join the first American F1 team for 30-years, and talked about the influence and management style of the team’s tireless founder:
“It was an opportunity to make F1 history,” he said, “and to join an exciting new team with a lot of promise.
“Gene Haas is an extraordinary man – full of energy and passion for what he does, with a tremendous track record in engineering and business. He’s been present at all stages of development, so far – the car and the team: at the track, during testing, etc. He asks a lot of very good questions – which make the engineers think carefully, and he allows us a lot of freedom to solve problems. He obviously loves the technical challenges and he enjoys learning about all aspects of F1.”
Before the start of the 2016 Formula One season, Romain and his Mexican teammate, Esteban Gutiérrez, each had the opportunity to visit the Haas Automation factory, in Oxnard, California. At the Industrie 2016 show, Romain remembered his first impressions:
“It was a great experience,” Grosjean said. “The factory is very impressive. Since I don’t have an engineering background, the visit gave me a much better understanding of how important CNC machine tools are to motor racing and to manufacturing in general.
“As well as visiting the factory, I also had the opportunity to visit Stewart Haas Racing, the NASCAR team in Charlotte, North Carolina. I got to see how Gene’s background gives him a tremendous advantage in motor racing.”
Asked by the Q&A host if he’d had the opportunity yet to try programming and operating a Haas CNC machine tool, he laughed:
“Really? No, I don’t think that would be a good idea,” he said. “I think I’ll stick to what I do best.”
Mr. Jens Thing, managing director of Haas Automation Europe, was delighted to have had the opportunity to welcome Romain to the show.
“We appreciate of course that Romain has a very busy schedule. So, we would like to thank him for taking the time to visit us,” Thing said.
“We’re keen for Haas customers to benefit from our partnership with Haas F1 Team, and this was a wonderful opportunity for visitors to the Haas booth – most of whom are French, to meet a French F1 driver. As I’m sure everyone will agree, Romain is a true gentleman and a great ambassador for the team and for Haas Automation.”