Grosjean suspects tyre blanket issue for Q2 exit

Silverstone, UK

British Grand Prix – Haas’ Romain Grosjean says the team are concerned by the completely different behaviour of the tyres between Q2 & Q2 on Saturday.

Romain Grosjean was knocked out in Q2 after going 0.4 seconds slower in that session compared to Q1. The Haas driver did a 1:26.3 during Q1 on the Softs before doing a 1:26.7 in Q2. While finishing in the top ten in the first part of qualifying, the drop off in pace meant that he was consigned to P14 after being convinced of making it into the top ten overall.

“This is something we don’t yet understand.” Grosjean sighed after the session. “Q1 was really good, really really good. From that point, I thought that’s us in Q3 today, definitely.”

“In Q2, both first laps were 1.275 slower than my fastest so we don’t know what happened. We need to analyse if we have issues with our tyre blanket. Did it go off, did it switch off at one point and anything else – we don’t understand. From the exit to Turn 16 starting the time lap, both laps felt like it was raining it was that bad. Something just wasn’t quite right so we need to understand because it’s a shame – I think we definitely had the pace for Q3 today.”

With Haas constantly struggling with race pace and tyre performance in race trim on Sundays, Grosjean says there has been some ‘drastic’ changes made to his car for the race. With the car already running in specification from the season opener in Australia in a concerted effort to find the root of their issues, Grosjean said: “We have taken some drastic action on my setup for front tyre wear. Is it going to pay off tomorrow, we don’t know.

“But it is definitely something that isn’t ideal for qualifying but should help with the race. It is something we can do with the old package because of the strength but not so much with the new one. Is it going to make a difference with tomorrow? I don’t know but the front left tyre is having a tough time here and doesn’t last many laps but it we can do a little bit better than others, then great.”

Additional reporting by Chinnye Chow.

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Thomas Maher

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