Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Grosjean puzzled by “horrible” handling despite third-fastest lap

2020 Spanish Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean said his Haas’s handling was “horrific” throughout the Spanish Grand Prix, despite setting the third-fastest lap time.

The Haas driver made a late bid to set the fastest lap of the race by fitting a new set of soft tyres following his spin on lap 62.

Having fallen to last place, Grosjean let several lapped cars past, then asked his engineer: “What’s the gap behind?” Told he had eight seconds to the next car, he backed off to give himself space to push for a flying lap.

“Are you OK?” his engineer asked. “Yeah, just going to go for fastest lap, it’s the only thing I’ve got left.”

Grosjean completed the race with his quickest lap, almost three seconds faster than he’d gone up to that point. That low-fuel run was 2.2 seconds slower than Valtteri Bottas managed, having also pitted for new tyres at the end of the race, and six tenths of a second slower than Lewis Hamilton’s best lap on older tyres.

Kevin Magnussen’s best time in the other Haas was slower than that of the 19 drivers who took the chequered flag having completed the race on older tyres.

“Sorry everyone, we had a really good start to the weekend, things didn’t go our way,” Grosjean told his team after taking the chequered flag.

Haas were puzzled by their loss of pace from Friday, when Grosjean placed in the top six during both practice sessions, to race day.

“From lap one to the last lap it was was horrible,” Grosjean told media after the race. “The car was absolutely a handful.

“I can’t understand what happened from Friday. On Friday the long run, short run, everything was fast, everything was competitive, everything was under control. And today was just not fun.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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2 comments on “Grosjean puzzled by “horrible” handling despite third-fastest lap”

  1. Because Friday is Friday and times are (mostly) meaningless.

  2. his spin was late, I thought he had done a leclerc, same issue.

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