Romain Grosjean endured a tough and tricky United States Grand Prix on Sunday, the Frenchman starting and finishing down in fifteenth position on what he felt was a complicated race at the Circuit of the Americas.
The Haas F1 Team racer felt helpless as the VF-19 did not have the kind of top speed that would have helped a push towards the points, and he was running towards the back of the field throughout the afternoon.
Grosjean was running seventeenth heading into closing laps but profited from late race drama for team-mate Kevin Magnussen and for Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly to claim fifteenth, but it was another pointless day for the Frenchman, who has failed to score points in any race since the summer break.
“It was tricky today,” admitted Grosjean. “We knew going into the race that it was always going to be a little bit complicated.
“Unfortunately we didn’t have any top speed, so at the beginning of the race I couldn’t really pass any of the guys. Plan A was mediums then softs, so we tried to stay long on the mediums. Unfortunately they just died when everyone pitted, everyone was passing me, I lost an awful lot of lap time there. Then we went onto the hards and they were actually pretty good. I was happy with the balance and my lap times.
“We were just too far at the back with no chance to fight.”
Team-mate Magnussen ran as high as ninth in the opening laps but soon fell down the order, and was well outside the top ten when he suffered brake failure at the end of the back straight with just a couple of laps remaining.
The Dane agreed with Grosjean that it was a tough day in the office, but the pace was not good enough for a genuine challenge for points.
“I had a brake issue at the end there,” said Magnussen. “It was a tough day at the office. We weren’t fast enough today, just lacking grip and pace.
“We have some problems, that’s pretty clear, but I tried to do my best anyway. I got as high as ninth on those first laps – it was good fun, but then it was just so clear that we didn’t have the pace and we started to drop down the order.
“The race then ended with the brake failure.”
Team Principal Guenther Steiner said the outcome of the United States Grand Prix, the home race of Haas, was to be expected, with the VF-19 not showing strong enough pace at any point across the weekend. With just two races remaining, Steiner hopes Haas can take some consolation points as they look set to finish ninth in the Constructors’ Championship.
“Obviously, it’s a disappointing result, but it didn’t come unexpected,” said Steiner. “We know where we are at the moment, and it’s not where we want to be.
“We start the race then we just begin to go backwards, we just haven’t got enough performance in the car. Kevin (Magnussen) retired with two laps to go, we think it was something with the brake system. We need to investigate but we haven’t had the car back yet.
“There are two more races to go and we just need to keep our heads up. We’ll hopefully try and get a little bit out of it.”