Romain Grosjean: “We obviously had too much drag and not enough top speed”

by Paul Hensby

Romain Grosjean said it was a ‘tough feeling’ to finish down in thirteenth having run as high as sixth in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, with the Frenchman feeling his raced was compromised by running with too high a downforce level at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Haas F1 Team driver felt positive after his first stint on the soft Pirelli tyre and believed his VF-19 was even better on the medium compound, but his lack of straight-line speed hindered him badly, particularly when following behind Renault F1 Team’s Daniel Ricciardo, who had jumped him when he made his pit stop.

Grosjean was unable to pass the Australian and then was unable to defend from others as they came through on fresher tyres and with lower downforce levels, meaning he fell down the order and out of the points in the second half of the race.

“We had a great start, the car was performing very well at the beginning of the race,” admitted Grosjean.  “I was really happy with the car pulling out a gap.

“Then we put the medium on and to my surprise the car was even better. So, I was hoping it was going to be a really good afternoon. [But] then we went behind the Renault of Ricciardo. He was fighting as hard as he could, and we just had no chance to pass him.

“We obviously had too much drag and not enough top speed. It’s not a choice, or an option we had just to get the tyres to work, but it’s so hard. I was happy with my driving style and the car, you’re constantly fighting, but it’s so hard to take having been in P6 to then go to P13. It’s a tough feeling not being able to do anything.”

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