Romain Grosjean: “I actually think it was a super exciting Friday”

by Paul Hensby

Romain Grosjean felt there was a ‘little bit more pressure’ on his Friday running at the Suzuka International Racing Course after going into the day knowing that Saturday’s running was to be cancelled thanks to the oncoming typhoon Hagibis.

The Haas F1 Team driver reckoned it was ‘super exciting’ as a result of having a condensed weekend, even though he was unable to break into the top ten in either session.  Grosjean ended eleventh fastest in the morning session but slipped to thirteenth in the afternoon.

“I actually think it was a super exciting Friday,” said Grosjean.  “I think it would be cool to have Saturdays like this, with FP1 in the morning and then FP2 in the afternoon, where you have extra tyres and the result is your qualifying.

“You can work on the car, and at the same time push hard, I was trying different things. I thought it was quite a cool day. There’s obviously a little bit more pressure on that as free practice.

“This morning the car was good, but in the afternoon I was expecting a little bit more to be fair, I wanted to have three-four more tenths. We just didn’t have it, it’s a bit of a shame in that aspect. We’ll keep working and we’ll see if we actually do have qualifying on Sunday morning or not.”

Team-mate Kevin Magnussen was unable to match Grosjean in either session, ending fifteenth fastest in the morning and sixteenth in the afternoon, although he did manage to close the gap between the two from four-tenths of a second to just under two-tenths.

“It was a bit of a strange one, considering we now have a cancelled day tomorrow,” said Magnussen.  “We had to go for it a little bit in FP2 in case that sets our starting position – who knows if Sunday morning will be ready for action.

“I hope we get another shot as we didn’t really get much out of it. It was interesting having more tires and using those in FP2, but we weren’t so quick, our pace wasn’t great. Let’s see what the weather does on Sunday and go from there.”

Team Principal Guenther Steiner said it was a pretty good day for Haas despite the positions of his two drivers, and he hopes for more progress when Formula 1 resumes at the track on Sunday morning.

“A very different FP1 and FP2 than normal, as obviously we won’t have FP3 and qualifying tomorrow,” said Steiner.  “Overall it was a pretty good day, we didn’t have any issues.

“All we can do now is wait and see what the weather is doing, hopefully everyone stays safe. We’ll be back to continue this on Sunday.” 

Kevin Magnussen was unable to match team-mate Romain Grosjean on Friday – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

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