After starting thirteenth in Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean was hoping to edge forward towards the points, but it wasn’t to be for the Frenchman as a bad getaway meant he was embroiled in the midfield for the entirety of the race.
The Haas F1 Team racer ended down in sixteenth at the chequered flag despite feeling he had some good race pace. Grosjean, however, felt he was not able to use that pace to his advantage, and he also was not able to gamble on a one-stop strategy as his Pirelli tyres did not last as long as he was hoping.
“The start, for me, was an issue – I don’t know what I did wrong, we need to look at everything,” said Grosjean. “After that I felt I had some good pace, but obviously being in traffic I was losing so much front air.
“Going into the high-speed stuff, I couldn’t pass the guys. I asked to go on a one-stop strategy, which was ‘Plan B’, but we were just too short of making it. But I still tried to go long on the hard tyres, I was working to look after them. I was doing as much as I could.
“We were expecting front wear, but we got rear blisters. I guess that was the same story for everyone. It was windy out there, it was inconsistent because of the gusts, but I can push the car, I can drive it – our lap times were good.
“We need to work now on cooling down the rear tyres when they get too hot. Our results don’t show much, but for us the pace wasn’t bad. I know where we can improve.”
“The car just hasn’t performed this weekend as we know it can” – Kevin Magnussen
Team-mate Kevin Magnussen was the only retirement from the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix with the team concerned about vibrations on his VF-20 following tyre issues.
Unlike Grosjean, the Dane had made a superb start and gained a number of positions, with Magnussen feeling this was the best part of the weekend as he was unable to be as competitive as he would have liked on race day.
“The car just hasn’t performed this weekend as we know it can,” said Magnussen. “We know it can perform, especially on a Sunday in race conditions. It just hasn’t happened this weekend.
“We had the crash last Sunday, and I think the parts that we put on as replacements, the floor and so on – they’re old parts, I can’t really say what else it could be. In my mind that has to be it as the car can be a lot better than this. It simply hasn’t worked this weekend and that’s unfortunate.
“I had a great start again, so I’ll take that away as a positive and try and continue to keep doing that. We know in normal circumstances the car is more competitive in the race than it is in qualifying.
“We need to keep getting those good starts and fight in those positions. Our job is to keep fighting.”
“It wasn’t a good afternoon” – Guenther Steiner
Guenther Steiner, the Team Principal at Haas, confessed it was not a good 70th Anniversary Grand Prix for the team, with the strategy options not working in their favour.
The team did think about gambling on a one-stop strategy with Grosjean but Steiner felt it was not worth the risk, particularly when it became clear the pace of the VF-20 was not enough to keep him in contention whether he made one or two pit stops.
“It wasn’t a good afternoon,” admitted Steiner. “We tried again with our strategy to do different things, but it didn’t work out. We had to retire Kevin (Magnussen) at the end of the race as there were vibrations and we were not sure anymore how badly they’d affect the suspension.
“Romain (Grosjean), at some stage, we though we could get through with a one-stop. We weren’t sure and we didn’t want to take a risk as obviously to get into the points is very difficult anyway. So, there was no point to risk anything.
“We are happy to be leaving Silverstone, as nice as it was here with the weather and the sunshine, but we want to move on to the next race.”