Before the start of the weekend at the Istanbul ring, Roman Grozhan recalled the previous stage and his successes in the youth series …
Q: In Imola, the weekend format was shortened, only two and a half hours passed between the only training session and qualification. Did you manage to process all the information with the engineers? Does the rider’s skill come to the fore in these situations?
Roman Grozhan: Yes, in such situations, experience is especially important. You know in advance what you need for the race, the team understands how to prepare the car for you – and together we did a great job.
Q: In Imola you said again that you love to perform on the tracks of the old school behind the wheel of modern cars. What exactly is pleasure? Will you feel it on any car, or is it the incredible speed of today’s Formula 1 cars?
Roman Grozhan: I think that you can get pleasure there while driving any car. Ascents and descents, various turns, old curbs – this gives uniqueness.
Q: Last weekend you supported George Russell, who was in an accident behind a safety car during the race. Was it important for you to show empathy for your colleague in this situation?
Roman Grozhan: I have a good relationship with George. When the team confirmed that I would not be competing in the Haas F1 next season, he was the only one who sent me a WhatsApp message. George is a great guy.
I know how frustrating it is to have an accident behind a safety car, especially when your first points of the season are on the line. This happened to me in Baku in 2018. In the second half of the peleton, it is especially important to work well with rubber.
I have spoken about this more than once, but if that race in Baku were repeated now, I would have acted the same as three seasons ago. George didn’t do anything special, he just lost control of the car. It was not his day, but in the future, luck will smile on him more than once.
Q: You have already performed in Istanbul – and won the GP2 race in 2011. What are your memories of the track? What do you expect from the return of the Turkish Grand Prix?
Roman Grozhan: Istanbul Park has a great track. High-speed, with ups and downs, with various turns, and at the end of the circle there is a slow section, which allows you to overtake. I think we will have an interesting weekend.