Romain Grosjean admits his pit lane crash in first practice for the British Grand Prix was embarrassing as he endured a difficult day for Haas.
Heading out for his first proper run in FP1, Grosjean spun as soon as he was able to accelerate in the pit lane, hitting the barrier on the inside of the tight pit exit. The front wing was broken off in the incident and the Frenchman says he was caught out by cold tires on Friday morning, while he also missed more running in the afternoon due to a car issue.
“The start of the day was a bit embarrassing,” Grosjean said. “I turned the pit-limiter button off, the tires were a bit cold and grip was low, next thing I knew I was backwards. It didn’t feel so good.
“After that, though, we got back on track and ran our program. I had a bit of an issue with a hydraulic line in the afternoon, we missed around half an hour of the session, but we’re getting some good data.”
Grosjean also had a spin when he rejoined the action in FP1 (pictured, top), but feels that was a more acceptable error due to the new track surface at Silverstone.
“I’ve seen a Ferrari go wide at Turn 4, some in Turn 6, Turn 6 was a bit dirty and bumpy and just difficult. New tarmac always brings some different types of grip; it got better in the afternoon but it was definitely a place where it was a bit tricky.
“It was my first lap and I didn’t really know what to expect. The grip was outstanding in Turn 3 and 4 so I was expecting the same in Turn 6 and it wasn’t quite the same case. A bit of a spin — I changed the differential a bit too and the next lap was much better.”
Grosjean was running a different specification of car compared to teammate Kevin Magnussen at Haas — using the same package as in Australia — and says the car is affected by high winds more but still handles well despite showing a lack of pace.
“It was slippery in the morning compared to the afternoon, the tarmac was rubbering off and it was more about assessing the difference of package between Kevin and myself and get as much data as possible.
“We are trying to evaluate everything and understand everything we’ve done during the season and the feeling on the car is good, back to the feeling at the start of the season, which I was happy with.
“There are limitations that we knew we would have, particularly with the wind, so we are paying a little bit of a price in that aspect. The feeling is very good in the car — much better than it was recently, which is great. But the performance is not there, which we could expect.
“The wind is a big factor on our package. But we need to analyze whether we can translate that feeling into performance.”