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Grosjean would have been ‘destroyed’ by 2017 F1 cars without extra training

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Romain Grosjean thinks he would have been “destroyed” by the new-spec Formula 1 cars in 2017 had it not been for an intensive physical training program over the winter.

2017 offers one of the biggest changes to the F1 technical regulations in recent decades, with the cars providing greater downforce and producing quicker lap times.

The result has been an uptake in the physical challenge for drivers in F1, with Grosjean getting his first extensive run in the Haas VF-17 car over winter testing in Barcelona at the end of February and beginning of March.

Looking ahead to next weekend’s season-opener in Australia, Grosjean said that he “didn’t feel too bad” physically in the car, but admitted that his 2016 self would have struggled.

“Let’s put it this way: if I’d been in the same condition as I was last year, I would have been destroyed,” Grosjean said.

“We pushed really hard in our training. We may actually have overdone it. It’s not as bad as we thought it would be. The cars are going to be challenging and some of the races this year are going to be epic, especially where it’s warm with a high-speed track, it’ll be very hard on the body.

“I like the challenge and I like to think that we can always get more prepared and better trained. It felt good as we did the proper training. The cars are much harder to drive than last year.”

Grosjean scored points for Haas in the team’s very first race last season in Australia, but refused to make any firm predictions for this year’s race.

“I don’t really set goals. Let’s see how it goes,” Grosjean said.

“We’ll do our best and, hopefully, we’ll remember it as well as Australia 2016.”

McLaren almost back on schedule with 2018 F1 car after delay

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McLaren is almost back on schedule with its 2018 Formula 1 car development after losing two weeks due to a delay in deciding on its engine supplier, according to racing director Eric Boullier.

McLaren confirmed back in September it would be cutting ties with Honda at the end of the year after three difficult seasons, favoring a switch to Renault power units.

The decision was not taken lightly by McLaren, causing it to lose two weeks in the development of next year’s car, but Boullier confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the team is almost back on-track.

“Maybe we made the decision to change the engine manufacturer two weeks too late for our schedule, but these two weeks have almost been recovered,” Boullier said.

“Any big decisions are always difficult to take. The concept of McLaren winning with Honda was a dream for everybody, yes – it was a beautiful story.

“Today we have huge respect for them and we definitely don’t divorce with fights and screams and finger pointing. We are all very professional – and in the end it was a business decision, which they understand.

“There is a sadness that it didn’t work out like we wanted. McLaren-Honda in terms of brands was a good fit – in terms of results it didn’t work.

“That’s what it is in the end. Now we have to see that we get back to competitiveness – back to the top!”