Romain Grosjean believes Haas could have been looking at a far better starting position for its much anticipated F1 debut after both he and Esteban Gutierrez were caught out by the new elimination qualifying system.
Grosjean and his team-mate were on track looking to improve their positions during Q1, only for the 90secs interval clock to tick down whilst they were doing faster laps that they believe would have seen them ascend the order. However, the new rules state the driver is out immediately, not when they lap they are on is over.
Leaving the pair 19th and 20th for Haas' F1 debut, though Grosjean was pleased with the competitive pace, he was frustrated not to have the chance to show it.
“I was on a good lap and then suddenly I'm out. I don't even get a chance to go to the end of the lap. That's annoying because the car was good, our baseline is good, and in terms of performance, we were clearly able to go through.
“We just missed a bit of speed on the turnaround in the garage, so we were massively out of position. This is one of those races where it's tricky and you need to finish.
“That's our first call for tomorrow though. That's what Gene (Haas, chairman) wants. From there, everything is possible. It's a long race and we have new rules with the radio ban, so we just have to try to use the experience.”