Romain Grosjean revealed that his Haas F1 car lacked about a second of downforce after the hit he had on Lap 1 of Brazil GP.
Grosjean started behind the two Sauber cars at the start of the race and was involved in a tangle with Marcus Ericsson going into Turn 1 where both the cars shed some carbon – damaging their bargeboard mostly in the side-to-side collision.
While Ericsson’s race was further derailed due to pre-race damage, Grosjean continued on albeit with considerable lack of downforce which limited his chances to attack Charles Leclerc for the best of the rest position.
Despite the lack, the Frenchman was still able to do well on his lap times and kept teammate Kevin Magnussen behind as Haas completed a double points finish in eighth and ninth respectively in a much better result for the American outfit.
Post-race, Grosjean’s engineer revealed that he was ‘minus 30 points on downforce’ in the grand prix – although it is difficult to quantify how much time he lost but the Frenchman gave a rough estimate of nearly a second of downforce lost.
“I’m very happy, and very happy for the team,” said Grosjean. “With the damage we had on the car following lap one, I’m impressed. We lacked about a second of downforce on the car. Being able to do those lap times, I think we did an amazing job on the setup.
“I’m very happy with that. I think without that, being best-of-the-rest would’ve easily been on our side. I’m happy we finished eighth and ninth. Even if we’re far from Renault in the points, double-points finishes in the two last races would be amazing going into the winter.”
On the other hand, Magnussen did not have a good start as he fell behind Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly. He did pass him eventually and also Ericsson to slot behind Grosjean for the rest of the race. “It was tough luck on the first lap,” he said.
“I made a good start and I got through turns one and two very well. Then I was pushed out on turn four and I lost a few positions there. I had to get those positions back and close the gap to Romain again. We stayed put from there.
“I’m happy for the team to get a double-points finish again. It’s good to bounce back from the tough luck we experienced yesterday when I didn’t really qualify where I should have. We did some damage limitation. I’m happy we leave with points.”
Even though their main rival Renault couldn’t score any point, Haas still has an uphill task if they want to topple the French manufacturer from fourth position in Abu Dhabi – they sit 24 points apart with a race to go.