Romain Grosjean: “It’s really hard to understand where the grip is going”

by Paul Hensby

Having started just outside the top ten on Sunday and with a free choice of starting tyre, Romain Grosjean could only muster a sixteenth-place finish in the Austrian Grand Prix, with more tyre issues befalling the Haas F1 Team.

Grosjean admitted it was a ‘tough’ afternoon around the Red Bull Ring as, almost from the start, he struggled with his tyres despite extremely hot conditions at the Austrian track, which made maintaining his position very difficult to do. 

He lost four positions on that first lap and ultimately slid well away from the points in sixteenth, with the Frenchman revealing he was fighting the car as hard as he could throughout the whole seventy-one lap event.

“It’s a tough one, it’s really hard to understand where the grip is going, and how we can make the car go faster,” said Grosjean.  “I had no grip on those first few laps, then just no pace in the race.

“It’s been a very difficult afternoon with no balance, I was fighting the car as hard as I could.”

Grosjean feels Haas are amid a ‘very difficult situation’ at this present time when it comes to the tyres but he has confidence that they can overcome the issues. 

The Frenchman feels that there must be something they are not doing right with tyre management as the Sunday drop off in performance happens far too often.

“We’re in a very difficult situation,” admits the Frenchman.  “We’ll work on it, we’ll find it, it may take some time. I’m sure our guys have got the resources to get on top of our issues.

“There’s obviously just something that we’re not doing quite right.”

Team-mate Kevin Magnussen was also struggling, with his top ten start translating into a nineteenth-place finish, with his race also compromised by the tyres.  He had excelled in Qualifying, setting the fifth fastest time before being demoted to tenth by a gearbox penalty, but the Dane was unable to convert that into a points finish on Sunday.

He also took a drive-through penalty early on after stewards deemed he was out of position on the grid, having driven ahead of where he was meant to start as he lined up at the end of the formation lap.

“We didn’t have any pace today in the race after qualifying P5 yesterday,” said Magnussen.  “It’s disappointing after a very good day on Saturday. It’s strange, and very frustrating.

“Nothing was really working, it felt pretty hopeless. It’s really confusing.”

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