Romain Grosjean out-qualified team mate Kevin Magnussen at Silverstone despite switching back to Haas’s original specification aerodynamics for its VF-19.
Haas have struggled in recent races after the upgrades to the car have increased downforce but not the performance of the car. In an effort to get to the bottom of these issues the team reverted Grosjean’s car back to the Melbourne package and left Magnussen on the newest spec.
Grosjean was three tenths of a second faster than his team mate in the first part of qualifying. “Q1 was really good,” he said. “From that point I felt that was us in Q3 today definitely.
“Then in Q2 the first lap we were 1.2 seconds slower than my fastest lap so we don’t know what happened.”
“From the exit of turn 16 to starting the first timed lap both times it just felt like it was raining,” he explained. “Something just wasn’t quite right. We need to understand because it’s a shame I think we definitely had the pace to go to Q3 today.”
However on balance Grosjean was pleased with the performance of the old package.
“The feeling is honestly an awful lot better on the old one [package] personally. Since we’ve introduced the new one I haven’t really felt comfortable. Especially through the high speed corners and the high speed entry so that has come back to me with the old package.”
“The downforce is much less,” he conceded. “There’s a big weakness on the old one that we were aware of in winter testing and some of them were addressed with the new package. But obviously the new package doesn’t deliver the type of lap time as much as it should.”
Grosjean believes the team should be able to use the data it has gained from comparing the two packages to make progress with its tyre problems.
“We just need to understand the difference between the two packages and hopefully we can pile on some downforce.”
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