Romain Grosjean’s frustration with Haas F1 on display after Russian GP qualifying
The Haas Formula 1 Team suffered a miserable day during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix Saturday.
That misery was on display as Romain Grosjean’s expressed frustration after he set the slowest time of the day.
Tensions between Grosjean and the Haas team have been rising since midway through the 2016 season when problems with the brakes began to emerge. Now, after suffering with brake problems since practice began on Friday morning, Grosjean is not pulling any punches as he openly criticizes the team.
“I’ve been very unhappy with the car since yesterday morning,” said Grosjean. “Something is just not working, and then today we had the yellow flags on my last lap while I was trying to improve. We need a solution for those yellow flags. Three races now we’ve had at least one Haas (car) out because we get a yellow flag on our last attempt, so that’s a bit too much. Kevin has been pretty happy with his car and I haven’t. It was nothing in the brakes, it was just the car wasn’t doing anything I wanted. I think tomorrow will be very hard.”
Despite qualifying with the slowest time of the day, Grosjean will start one place forward – benefiting from McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne’s penalty for exceeding the number of engine components allowed in a season.
Kevin Magnussen also benefits from the misfortune of others, moving up a place to 13th and, while admitting that things had not been perfect across the weekend, had more praise for the effort put in by the team.
“As a team we’re struggling a bit more this weekend than in the first races,” said Magnussen. “It’s not perfect, but I think P14 for me today was the best I could do. I think with a perfect lap P11 could’ve been possible, but it’s very close from 11th to where I am, very close. I don’t think any of these guys probably had a perfect lap. It is what it is. To be in that group is a good effort from our side. We’ve been a bit unlucky this weekend having to go back on the brakes in the middle of the weekend, but I think we’ll still have a good car for the race. Hopefully, we can get through the first corner well and have a good race.”
Team principal Guenther Steiner added, “A difficult day. Ups come with downs. Today we didn’t really deliver what we could’ve done. Romain qualifying last, though he’ll start second to last with Vandoorne’s penalty, doesn’t justify the speed. Again, we ran into a yellow, number three now (China, Bahrain and Russia). Kevin was very close to at least 11th position, if not 10th, in Q2. It didn’t work out, so he’ll start 13th. We’ll try to do our best for tomorrow.”