Romain Grosjean says he already feels at home with new team Haas F1 despite not yet turning a wheel and adds he and the team are raring to go for the start of pre-season testing.
The French driver has made the switch from Lotus to Haas F1 after five years at the Enstone-based squad and has spent the winter familiarising himself with the new team, its main US base in North Carolina, its European base in Banbury and new technical side and management.
Grosjean says he's been welcomed with open arms by team owner Gene Haas and team principal Gunther Steiner and is thrilled to be part of the first US squad to compete in F1 since 1986.
“I felt a very warm welcome from day one with Gene Haas and Gunther Steiner and from everyone I've met in the team,” Grosjean said. “It's a nice spirit. It's an American spirit. Everyone wants to go racing. It's very exciting, as it's a new challenge.”
Grosjean has been handed the honour of driving duties for Haas' F1 debut on the opening day of winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on Monday 22nd February.
The French driver is relishing the opportunity of turning the new car, which is yet to be officially named, into a competitive package while also getting to grips with the Ferrari power unit ahead of the opening race of the 2016 F1 World Championship in Australia on the 18-20 March.
“It's going to be something unique having an American Formula One team on the grid for the first time in 30 years,” he added. “Driving the car out of the garage on day one will be unbelievable. There's a lot to look forward to. I already feel comfortable in the team. Everyone is motivated and wants to get to the first test, and then the first race.”