Grosjean keen to get off the mark after early setbacks

Rich Energy Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean and team boss Guenther Steiner. Photo: Andy Horne
Rich Energy Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean and team boss Guenther Steiner. Photo: Andy Horne

Romain Grosjean will be geared up to get his first points of the new Formula One seasson.

The Rich Energy Haas F1 team head to the Shanghai International Circuit for its 16th Chinese Grand Prix this weekend.

It’s a very different circuit but I think we’ve got some good tools to get ready for China and our testing in Bahrain has been another good opportunity to learn a bit more about what happened in the race there

Romain Grosjean

Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are responsible for the Banbury team’s best season – a fifth-place finish in last year’s constructors’ standings. Currently, the team is fifth, tied with McLaren, Alfa Romeo are fourth with a two-point advantage while the Renault Sport F1 team is two points back in seventh.

The team heads to Shanghai with back-to-back point-scoring results in the Chinese Grand Prix, all courtesy of Magnussen.

The 26-year-old driver finished eighth in the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix to score his first points for the team and was tenth last year.

While Grosjean has not yet scored for Haas at Shanghai, the experienced driver has logged three point-paying drives in the Chinese Grand Prix, with the 32-year-old’s best result being a sixth-place effort in 2012. And in the 2017 race, Grosjean just missed finishing in the points as he came home 11th.

Grosjean said: “Bahrain wasn’t our best showing in terms of race pace, we didn’t quite manage to get on top of it. Saying that, I didn’t do much of the race, so it’s hard to judge if what we had done on my car was good enough.

“I think China’s going to be great. It’s a very different circuit but I think we’ve got some good tools to get ready for China and our testing in Bahrain has been another good opportunity to learn a bit more about what happened in the race there.”

Magnussen said: “Each race is different every year, you come with a different car, a different package. It’s not like you can look at past results and say that it gives you confidence, as such.

“I guess some tracks suit you better than other, but I wouldn’t say China is a standout, really. It’s a pretty standard race, we’ll go about it in the normal way to try and get the best possible result.

“We had very strong qualifying pace in Bahrain but the race pace wasn’t as strong, which was very disappointing for the whole team, of course.”

Team boss Guenther Steiner added: “It’s a good car but we still need to find where we really are. Obviously, with the new regulations a lot of things changed. It’s an evolution.

“We used what was good on the previous car – we didn’t reinvent it – but we adapted it in a very good way to the new rules.”