Romain Grosjean has had a far from perfect weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit, suffering from both of Antonio Giovinazzi‘s spins on the start/finish straight.
During qualifying he was forced to slow down at the end of his fast lap and missed out on Q2 despite it being more than enough up until that point. Then when the Italian spun in almost the same place but on the opposite side of the grid, he once again suffered interference.
Both events left the Frenchman annoyed, but he also critical of Marcus Ericsson’s restart, stating that he was too far from the remainder of the pack. And he suffered damage from a coming together with Esteban Ocon on the first lap.
“Yesterday was a bit of a joke and today the same guy crashed in front of me on the straight line, so I had to stop,” said Grosjean. “I lost a lot of time. Then (Marcus) Ericsson at the restart left miles ahead of the car in front of me. I don’t know what he was doing, so I was already on the back foot.
“(Esteban) Ocon pushed me on the first lap. I lost half of the right-hand side of the car. From there I just pushed as hard as I could.”
Following the safety car’s deployment in response to Giovinazzi’s accident, Grosjean swapped his red Supersoft tyres for the more durable, yellow-walled Soft tyres. Despite being all the way down in seventeenth, the field came back to him as their tyres came to the end of their life. But unfortunately the damage was already done.
A final change to the Supersofts allowed him to gain a couple of more places, but in the end eleventh was the best that he could achieve.
“I couldn’t really find an opening on (Jolyon) Palmer,” he continued. “Once I did, though, I had some good lap times.
“We were doing a decent job, but it was already too late. It was not easy on strategy. The guys did the best job they could. We saw the chequered flag and the lap times were looking decent.
“I think we had more, but it’s time to look forward to the next race and, hopefully, it’s going to get better.”