Grosjean, Magnussen baffled by Haas' shortcomings

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Grosjean, Magnussen baffled by Haas' shortcomings

Formula 1

Grosjean, Magnussen baffled by Haas' shortcomings


Romain Grosjean described teammate Kevin Magnussen’s qualifying performances as “amazing” given how difficult the Haas is to drive at present.

Magnussen set the fifth-fastest time in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix, but was forced to start from 10th place due to a gearbox penalty. Both he and Grosjean then struggled for race pace and finished outside the points, and the Frenchman says the VF-19 is extremely difficult for the drivers to perform in.

“I don’t have any feeling in qualifying, there’s always something wrong,” Grosjean said. “There’s no real explanation. Kevin is really good in qualifying, he’s doing an amazing job, very good.

“I think in the race it’s the opposite, I manage to get better race pace, but still it’s just on off, some laps it’s up, some laps it’s down, some OK, some not, understeer, next corner oversteer. It’s not like you can build confidence in the car.”

Grosjean highlighted Austria as even more difficult than the French Grand Prix, even though team principal Guenther Steiner described the race at Paul Ricard as the worst in the team’s history.

“Very, very, very, infinitely very complicated,” he said “Eventually, we will find (solutions). It will take some time. We were fighting with the Williams early on in the race. I was saying to Kevin it felt like it was raining in the car in the first few laps. Literally no grip. No front. No rear. Very, very difficult.

“The balance was not good either. In Le Castellet the balance was OK but we had slow pace, but (in Austria) there was no balance no pace.”

Magnussen himself said he is equally perplexed as to why Haas struggles so much after finishing behind George Russell in Austria on Sunday.

“Nothing was working, it was pretty hopeless in the start,” Magnussen said. “We didn’t have the pace of the Williams. I was a bit slower!

“I don’t understand it. It’s very strange. I don’t know where to look, I don’t know what to say, it’s really confusing.”