Romain Grosjean admits he is more concerned than teammate Kevin Magnussen about a lack of upgrades for Haas this season.
Team principal Guenther Steiner recently admitted he is not signing off on a development program while there is uncertainty over the final calendar, because it impacts on this year’s budget. Magnussen brushed it off as something he won’t be concerned about because it’s beyond his control, but Grosjean’s take was more cautious.
“We can focus on what we have and optimize everything we do,” Grosjean said. “Obviously I’m a little bit more concerned than Kevin, and we know that Formula 1 is about bringing development and bringing new parts, but last year I finished the last race with the kit I started the year on, so sometimes an update isn’t going to work the way you want.
“So, yes it’s great to have new parts, it’s good to improve performance but it doesn’t always work and it can put you… you focus on the wrong place. So at the minute I’m glad we can go racing, and let’s see how quick the car is, and how quick we can make it, and then see if we can bring parts.”
Although it looks unlikely that Haas will have new updates until later in the season – if at all – Grosjean was keen to highlight the progress made since 2019, and said he is optimistic that the team has gotten on top of the struggles it faced last year.
“We’ve had a very good look at everything and I believe now we’ve got a better way of understanding issues and getting in line with the drivers’ comments,” he said. “At the end of the day we’re the ones driving the car, and early on we felt like something was a bit off and it took more time to find out, to know we have to a process to operate quicker and faster [so] we know where to look.
“We have great confidence that we have a much better understanding of the situation if it happens again and then we can react quicker.
“The confidence is based on everything I’ve seen from the team since 2016, and every way we tackled the problems that we’ve had. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the different departments. The first feeling from testing was pretty good, and again in winter testing we tried many different things on the car, we didn’t focus at all on getting the fastest lap time on the track but more on having to understand every single aspect of the car and putting it in different positions.
“After a few months off we have to reflect on what we’ve been doing and how we operate, and I think we’re always more intelligent than before. Obviously when you’re not working, you’re still thinking about Formula 1 and think about what can be done, what can be done differently, what could be improved.”