Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean says that there was “no obvious reason” for his crash in qualifying for the French Grand Prix.
Swiss-born French racer Grosjean and team-mate Kevin Magnussen both secured a spot in Q3, for the third time in the 2018 season, and although the Danish driver’s fastest time was good enough for ninth on the grid, Grosjean did not manage to set a time and will complete an all Haas fifth row in tenth.
On his first flying lap, he lost the rear of the car at the Turn 3 chicane, skidding across the run-off areas, before gently nudging the barrier. The damage was minimal, but Grosjean was unable to reverse out and continue, leading to him not setting a fast lap time.
“There’s no obvious reason [why I] lost the rear end,” explained Grosjean. “We’ll look at the data [and continue] to investigate to understand a bit more. I was pretty much doing as I was before.
“It is frustrating, [as] we haven’t had much luck since Australia. I was hoping this weekend would run smoothly, and that [has] been the case. We’re going to do our best to come back and get seventh [in] the race tomorrow. [It] is where we should have qualified.
After a difficult start to the season, Grosjean has yet to score a point and has lost big scores on a number of occasions. In Australia, he and Magnussen were both running in the top six, but a botched pitstop apiece meant that both cars were released before a wheel was fully tightened, leading to a double DNF.
Under a late safety car in Azerbaijan, while running in sixth place, the Frenchman speared into the wall, having knocked a switch on his steering wheel.
He was also involved in a first-lap pile-up in Barcelona, for which he was handed a three-place grid penalty for Monaco, after the stewards deemed him responsible for causing the collision that also eliminated Nico Hülkenberg and Pierre Gasly.