The final qualifying session of the 2019 season has officially wrapped up, with Lewis Hamilton grabbing pole. However, on the other end of the grid, the Haas F1 team endured a torrid session, much like their entire season, and driver, Romain Grosjean was not happy.
A visibly frustrated Romain Grosjean confessed that he was glad to be seeing the back end of the 2019 season. Apparently, the Frenchman and teammate Kevin Magnussen despised Haas’ troublesome VF-19 challenger.
So far this year, Haas scored a paltry 28 points, only ahead of the far worse off Williams F1, which is far more insulting. At this stage 12 months ago, Haas F1 amassed 90 points and were higher up the order.
Speaking about looking forward to the end of the season, Grosjean pulled no punches. He blithely said, “Kind of happy, to be fair. I’ve been positive all year. Let’s just say we’re looking forward to getting rid of that [car] – and it won’t go into a museum!”
Admittedly, Romain Grosjean displayed decent one-lap pace in Abu Dhabi until qualifying, going P6 in Free Practice 1 and P7 in FP2.
Unfortunately, a crash with Valtteri Bottas in FP2 damaged a new aerodynamic package that the team were experimenting with. So, they were forced to revert back to the older spec, and the car misbehaved as usual.
“Yesterday I was super happy with the car,” lamented Grosjean. “Obviously we had to change the car following the crash with Bottas. This morning we put our heads down, we worked hard. We got a decent car, P11 in FP3, thinking, ‘Yeah, you know what? We’ve got more in our hands and it’s going to be alright’. Then we go into quali and the bloody thing is undriveable!
“No one’s fault. The engineers have done their best, I drove the same way. But we got into Turn 1 [in Q1] the same as Kevin [Magnussen] and I was sideways and lost three-tenths already. When you’re that tight, it’s never going to be good.”
Following a shambolic quailfying, Grosjean and Magnussen have it all to do from P14 and P15 respectively. The American team have taken just two points in the last nine races, and any more points in Abu Dhabi would be more than welcome.