French DNF has silver lining for Grosjean

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean’s retirement from last weekend’s French Grand Prix has come with a silver lining courtesy of a suspension upgrade for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Branded by team principal Guenther Steiner as the worst weekend in Haas’ four year existence, the American squad struggled throughout the Paul Ricard event.

Grosjean was the sole retirement from the race which saw team-mate Kevin Magnussen classified a lowly 17th, the final runner bar the two Williams.

However, the disappointment of retiring from his home grand prix has offered an advantage for the coming events, with the team now able to fit an upgraded suspension to the Frenchman’s car.

The rear suspension upgrade required a change to the gearbox housing, which under normal circumstances would have seen Grosjean have to wait for the new kit until after the Hungarian Grand Prix in August.

It means both Haas cars will now be running the same specification rear end, with Magnussen having already taken the new suspension, giving the squad a more even platform to develop on.

“There are things that are not as we were hoping, and things that are better than we thought, and we just need to make sure that the weaknesses we have, we assess them,” Grosjean said.

“There’s a lot going on, a lot of testing that we’re going to do here, a lot of different set-ups.

“Obviously we know we’ve been struggling with the tyres.

“At one point it’s easy to say it’s the tyres, but we just need to get the cars to work the tyres, and that’s what we’re aiming to do here.”

Just a week on from an event which prompted Steiner to admit his team was ‘in the shit’, expectations are being kept in check.

“We’re just trying different things,” Grosjean explained.

“In free practice we’re probably going to try one option on one car, and another option on another car.

“When you don’t have any testing, that’s the only chance you have.

“At least here it’s warm, so it’s going to be consistent through the whole weekend. Hopefully we can have a few answers.”

“We know we’ve got a good car, aerodynamically, and a car that can perform well sometimes,” added Magnussen.

“But then we found ourselves in situations where the car isn’t performing at all, and we can’t really point at the problem. It’s very confusing.

“We’re working very hard at trying to locate the problem, and take a direction of where to look.

“It’s easy to say that the tyres aren’t working, but there’s got to be more to it than temperatures and stuff.”

Practice for the Austrian Grand Prix begins this evening at 1900 AEST.

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