The Haas F1 team have now activated the ‘Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures’ button. When they were humiliated by their poor performance in Austria and resorted to unusual means. The American outfit has reverted Romain Grosjean’s car to its Melbourne spec for the British Grand Prix.
This daring move is an attempt to fix its recent struggles with the new upgrade that failed miserably. Romain Grosjean even reported discomfort since the major upgrade package was introduced in Spain.
Grosjean will drive the early spec for the entire weekend, while team mate Kevin Magnussen races in the latest spec. This move was taken in order to gauge data from both cars for all three days and compare notes.
“When we introduced the update I wasn’t fully convinced about it in Barcelona,” confessed Grosjean.
“But the data suggested it was good, so we put it on, and we kept going. But for a few races I really felt better with the initial package so I wanted to come back in terms of feeling.
“And obviously the last two races in terms of performance have proven to us that we need to understand a bit more what’s happening. Early in the year, we had very good qualifying, and then the race pace was not as good.
“But I think we understood what happened in China and also in Bahrain, and what we could’ve done better. So that was positive – I think our pace there had more potential, while recently the race pace does not have much potential.
“I think I really extracted the best of it out of the last three races, and Kevin has got the upper hand in qualifying but in the race completely the opposite, I almost lapped him twice – but it’s [for] P16.”
According to the French Haas F1 driver, team boss Guenther Steiner approved of the move back to the original spec. The idea was to allow the team to work out what went wrong in recent weeks.
The Haas F1 driver continued, “Obviously it’s a hard call, and it’s very difficult for all the engineers involved in the development to come back. But on the other hand maybe there are things that we don’t measure that my arse can feel, but the sensor doesn’t see.
“So, that’s really why we’re coming back here, and see if with that package we’ve got more options to set up the car to go faster in the race.
“It was lucky they went behind the shelf in Banbury and they could find an old floor and an old everything.”
Grosjean is not concerned about trying the old package at a track where it has not previously been run.
“We’ve got two cars running two different packages, [getting] as much information as we can in terms of sensors.”
“So, if that’s any correlation in the fact that we cannot go as fast as we want, that’s what we want to find out.”
“It’s decided for the weekend. The change is too big, it involves some chassis-moulding, so we’ve got to run it for the weekend.”