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.”