From the outside looking in, it must appear for all the world as if Romain Grosjean has taken leave of his senses.
After all, why would a proven podium finisher, a driver with four years of Formula 1 experience under his belt, want to gamble with his career and sign for a start-up team?
From his early crash-happy days that almost resulted in him heading for the F1 exit door after just one season, Grosjean has turned his life around, both on and off-track.
The nadir of his 78 grands prix to date, of course, is now well documented - he was the cause of a horrifying first-corner accident at the start of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix.
The punishment was a one-race ban, a time for Grosjean to take stock, to assess his faults and failings as a driver, ultimately resulting in numerous visits to see a sports psychologist.
Grosjean was banned for causing the first lap Belgian GP shunt in 2012 © XPB
Such treatment has certainly paid dividends as the rushes of blood to the head that almost cost him dear are now a thing of the past, and he has turned over a new leaf.
Off track, Grosjean is a happily married family man - he has two little boys - providing his life with an added dimension, leading to a big, beaming smile whenever he discusses his nearest and dearest.
On it, the driver we see today is confident without being cocky, assured without being arrogant, as well as being quick and technically astute.
Take Grosjean's return to Spa this year, for example, somehow guiding Lotus's E23 to third, the team's first podium finish for 31 races.
What was remarkable about that performance was the fact that the car had not been developed for a couple of months, since Lotus has fallen behind with paying its bills after it began in May/June a process of due diligence with Renault over a buyout.
Yet somehow Grosjean found a sweet spot at Spa to underline that outside megastars Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, he is among the very best in F1.
With Renault fully expected to acquire a 65 per cent stake in Lotus, despite the delays in getting the deal over the line, a Frenchman driving for a French works teams on its return to F1 after a six-year absence appears to be the perfect fit.
So why would Grosjean seemingly commit what many may view as career suicide and join F1's newest team in Haas?
Upon reviewing the three previous new entries to F1, only one has survived - and then by the veritable skin of its teeth: Manor this year rose from the ashes of its previous incarnation of Marussia, which went into administration late last season.
HRT went bust after just three years, while Caterham was not so fortunate as Manor since no white knight came riding to its rescue after it, too, fell into the hands of administrators towards the end of 2014.
Worse still, of the 257 grands prix that trio have entered in their various guises over the past six seasons, only once has a car finished in the top 10 and scored points - Marussia in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix with the late Jules Bianchi at the wheel.
Such evidence suggests Grosjean will do nothing more - certainly for next season at least - than spend his time towards the rear of the field, with only Manor for company.
Often a first-year outfit fails to see the chequered flag for the majority of the races as the technical gremlins bite hard. The learning curve is extraordinarily steep when it comes to the complexities of a Formula 1 car.
Haas is going about its business differently to most start-up F1 teams © LAT
This is why experienced hands such as Grosjean rarely, if ever, join a new team, since not only have they no intention of being blue-flagged backmarkers in grands prix, but they also have no desire to be a guinea pig.
Let's face it, all any driver is doing for the first couple of years with a newcomer is ironing out the faults of the car, helping to make it quicker, more reliable, so for anyone that follows the teething years are effectively out of the way.
So again, Grosjean must be mad, right?
Potentially, yes, especially when you consider Renault is a multi-billion pound car manufacturer with a realm of resources at its disposal.
In F1 terms there is its engine production plant at Viry, and then there are the team headquarters at Enstone it knows all too well from previous tenancies.
Renault might have had frustrating issues with the current 1.6-litre V6 engine spec that is soon to lead to divorce from long-time partner Red Bull, but surely it still represents a better long-term prospect for Grosjean than Haas?
Not necessarily so.
It has to be remembered Haas is no ordinary wet-behind-the-ears start-up team.
Its owner, Gene Haas, is one half of NASCAR's successful Stewart-Haas partnership, and yes I appreciate the US series is like night and day compared with F1.
At least Haas has a long and successful background in building and operating race cars, and he has some of the finest facilities in the United States at the team's base in Kannapolis.
While Haas may not be au fait with the technical minefield that is F1, he has pulled off a masterstroke in establishing a technical relationship with Ferrari.
The Scuderia will supply up-to-date power units, and courtesy of changes to the FIA regulations, a whole raft of other key components that will aid the new team's cause.
Haas may not appreciate the term, but his fledgling outfit will effectively be a Ferrari 'B' team from next year.
And when you consider the strides Ferrari has made this season in closing the gap to the dominant Mercedes, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Haas - as one source suggested - will very quickly be running in the midfield.
Grosjean starred at Spa this year to give Lotus a rare day to celebrate © XPB
Naturally, much will depend on the aerodynamics of the car, because while it is all very well possessing one of the best engines in F1, it will be for nothing if it is found wanting in the bodywork.
This is where Grosjean's experience will come to the fore - and why Haas made clear it wanted no rookies in its line-up - since he will be able to provide plenty of technical feedback to ensure any problems are only short-term ones.
But there is one considerably large carrot being dangled in front of Grosjean, and the key reason that a driver of his calibre is willing to jump ship, with the lure of a seat with Ferrari in 2017.
Ferrari's partnership with Haas means it will have access to all data, including that of its driver pairing.
While Ferrari has only been able to admire Grosjean from afar to date, from next year it will be a lot more up close and personal, and be able to pore over every detail of every lap from every track.
Of course, Ferrari could have continued to analyse Grosjean had he remained at Lotus/Renault.
This way, though, it will know for sure if he will be a worthy partner to Sebastian Vettel and replacement for Kimi Raikkonen should the latter's deal not be renewed for 2017.
It sounds an unusually circuitous route to try to acquire one of the top seats in F1, but in Grosjean's case there is method to his madness.