Romain Grosjean: “The car’s got a lot more potential than we’ve been able to extract”

by Paul Hensby
Romain Grosjean - Rich Energy Haas F1 Team - Sakhir International Circuit

Romain Grosjean insists it is imperative that the Haas F1 Team put together a complete race weekend together this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the Frenchman himself still searching for his first points finish of 2019.

Over the opening four races of the season, Haas has shown itself to be strong in Qualifying trim, with both drivers starting inside the top ten in three of those events, however Kevin Magnussen’s sixth place finish in the Australian Grand Prix is the only points finish so far, with both drivers unable to maximise the VF-19’s pace due to struggles with getting Pirelli’s tyres to their optimal working temperature on race day.

However, Grosjean believes the car has a lot more potential than the results would show, and he hopes that they can turn around their relatively poor start to the year with a strong showing in this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

“Well, it’s always very important, but at the minute the most important thing for us is to get the race pace back,” said Grosjean.  “We need to get the car where it should be.

“The last three weekends haven’t been good for us. The car’s got a lot more potential than we’ve been able to extract. The most important element is not the result. It’s to understand how to make the car go faster.”

Haas will be amongst the teams bringing substantial upgrades to their car for the first European race of the season, but Grosjean knows that the grid order could shuffle around if one team’s upgrades work better than another’s.  He felt the car worked well there during pre-season testing so has high hopes of having a quick car again this weekend.

“It’s important to go back to Barcelona because it’s our first European race and we’re bringing big updates on the car,” said the Frenchman.  “It’s a track with high energy, so I’m not too worried about getting the tyres to work, in theory.

“It’s interesting, as we definitely got them to work in winter testing, going back there and seeing if we can still get them to work will be a good test, because we know the car should be fast there.

“You also know everyone’s going to bring big updates, so it’s almost like everyone’s going to have a B-car, therefore the standings could be a bit different.”

Grosjean knows the importance of Haas’ upgrades and hopes that they enable the team to refocus on their goal of running at the front of the midfield battle and on a more regular basis, but without the worry about tyres and a lack of race pace.

“I think it’s important that our updates go in the right direction,” said Grosjean.  “It’s important, as we know what we can do there.

“We’ll see if we can repeat that and understand where our race pace has gone.”

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