Romain Grosjean is keeping a lid on expectations for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix, pointing out how tough the circuit will be on both the car and himself.
Sixth place on the grid is the Frenchman’s equal best starting position since Melbourne at the very beginning of the season, and while he appreciated the increased drivability of his Haas machine, was cautious about the challenges he would face in staying there.
“It’s a long race tomorrow. It’s going to be tough on the brakes, tough on the engine and tough physically,” he said. “It’s the second time this year though, after Melbourne, where I feel the tires are working well and I can really enjoy myself and push the car to the limit.”
It was not all plain sailing for him to qualify so high up the grid. Grosjean oversteered his way through Turn 7 in Q1, flying through the gravel and only narrowly missing the barriers at the far edge of the gravel trap. This was followed by a technical failure in Q3, his anti-stall kicking in at Turn 3 and leaving him stranded at the end of Sector 1.
“I think we just lost an electric connection on the car at the end,” he explained. “I’m hoping it’s nothing more serious than that.”
Overall he seemed more at ease than previous weekends, where he had become increasingly stressed out over repeated brake problems. His team-mate Kevin Magnussen had looked quick in Free Practise, though unfortunately for his team was unable to join Grosjean in Q3.
“We’ve been quick all weekend, Kevin and I. We’ve both been pretty happy with the car. Unfortunately, Kevin had the suspension issue in Q1, otherwise I think he would’ve been up there with us.”