Romain Grosjean is happy to see the Haas Formula 1 team proving its doubters wrong after matching its debut season points total in just nine races of its sophomore campaign.
NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas took his F1 operation onto the grid in 2016, with Grosjean scoring all 29 of its points through its debut campaign.
Grosjean has been joined at the team by Kevin Magnussen for 2017, and the pair have already made progress by taking the same points total through the first nine races of the year.
For Grosjean, the advances made by the team for 2017 come largely down to experience as it matures, having only entered 30 races.
“We’re growing up. We’re definitely growing up and we’re learning a lot from the past races experiences,” Grosjean told NBCSN.
“There is a lot more that we need to learn in Formula 1, and it’s a very complex world. But I believe the team is doing very well for its second year.
“I’m hoping that we can get a bit more consistency and keeping top performance.”
Grosjean is pleased that Haas has been able to prove doubters wrong who predicted a second season slump, and even feels the American team could double its points total through the remainder of the year.
“A lot of people were thinking year two would be difficult for the team, but we’re actually much stronger in year two than in year one, and I’m very proud of that,” Grosjean said.
“I’m hoping that year three is going to be even stronger. There’s a lot more races to come. We’ve unlocked some potential in the car, we’ve had some bad luck, but we still have scored a lot of points.
“I think we can double up easily from last year.”
The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.
With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.
Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.
With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.
“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!
“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”
Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.
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