Romain Grosjean remains confident Haas can still maintain its perfect points-scoring record for 2016 in the Chinese Grand Prix despite a tough qualifying session leaving him 14th on the grid.
With the VF16 struggling for form around the Shanghai International Circuit, particularly after Grosjean criticised the tyre pressure limits he feels are making the car 'undriveable', the Frenchman couldn't make an impression beyond Q2, while Esteban Gutierrez starts 18th.
Blaming the result in part on the relative lack of dry track running, Grosjean admits the car isn't well suited too the circuit anyway.
“The whole weekend has been very complicated for us, a lot of red flags in FP1 so we couldn't get a real feel for the car, FP2 only one car running, FP3 very wet and then qualifying was tricky with a few red flags, so yeah it has not been easy, certainly in Q2 we could have been better than where we are but we are not as competitive as we would like for the weekend.
“We are still investigating what is going on, may have a few ideas on the car so hopefully we will find something and it will explain why our performance has dropped down. It's one of those tracks which is very particular.”
Reflecting on the heightened expectations that came with Haas' top six results in Australia and Bahrain, though Grosjean says he thinks points are within range, it is important to remember it has been 'boxing' above its weight so far.
“We want to stay where we are, we want to stay with the big boys and I think again we've been boxing in a higher category than ours for the first two races when on the paper there were no explanations that we shouldn't be able to be again.
“Here we are, missed experience on this type of track, very little running, a few small issues and that cost us some time again. The race is long, hopefully we can make up some good points and yes I think we have to keep ourselves to the ground and manage expectations.”