Romain Grosjean says he was “a bit worried” prior to the Chinese Grand Prix due to tyre management concerns with his Rich Energy Haas F1 Team Formula 1 car.
Throughout practice at the Shanghai International Circuit, both Grosjean and team-mate Kevin Magnussen struggled for race pace, akin to the team’s performance in the proceeding grand prix in Bahrain, where poor tyre management cost the team a solid points finish.
Both Grosjean and Magnussen were able to advance to Q3 and secure top 10 grid positions in qualifying, legacy of quick single-lap pace. In the race itself, both cars fell out of the points, with Frenchman Grosjean unable to find a way Red Bull Toro Rosso-Honda’s Alexander Albon in the closing stages for the final point.
The result was Grosjean first finish of the season, after retirements in Australia and Bahrain, with the 10-time podium finisher keen to understand the why car is struggling for pace on longer runs.
“I was a bit worried, to be fair, before the start as our race pace hasn’t been amazing all weekend. The car’s amazing over one lap, but as soon as we go two laps on the tires, we’re not there anymore. We need to understand exactly what happened,” he explained.
“I think without the blue flags at the end we’d have scored a point. Alex (Albon) did a great job defending well and not making any mistakes. Congratulations to him. It’s so annoying to give it all, push hard, and just not get the chance to score points.”
With both Haas drivers out of the points positions, the team now sits in sixth in the constructors’ on eight points, courtesy of Magnussen’s sixth-place finish in the season-opening race in Melbourne.