Romain Grosjean will look to recapture the early success he enjoyed with the Haas F1 team after being given a new chassis for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.
The Frenchman, who considers F1's blue riband event as his 'home' race following the demise of Magny-Cours, started the season with back-to-back scoring finishes for the grand prix newcomer, taking sixth in Australia and immediately bettering that with fifth place under the lights in Bahrain, but has struggled to make the top ten since then, with only eighth place in Russia sandwiched between a lowly 19th in China and retirement in Spain.
Having complained about the handling of his VF16 in those last three rounds, particularly the chronic oversteer that has plagued the #8 machine since China, Grosjean was able to confirm ahead of the Monaco weekend that Haas had decided to try a complete change in search of answers – and results.
“To be honest, we did a great job [early on] even though the results haven't followed,” the Frenchman insisted, having previously confirmed that it is only his car that appears to be affected, “However, we changed the chassis after the race in Barcelona because we had a big doubt about it and things felt better in testing so, hopefully, we can go back to a good car here and get the best of all the package.”
Grosjean remains tenth in the drivers' standing after five rounds, and is ten points clear of nearest challenger Carlos Sainz, while Haas – as yet without a contribution from luckless second driver Esteban Gutierrez - sits sixth overall, sandwiched between Toro Rosso and Force India heading to Monaco. The Principality is amongst those venues that transcend motorsport boundaries, and Grosjean confirms that the entire Haas operation is looking forward to the weekend.
“We're pretty much excited,” he grinned, “It's one of the races we wanted to do during the year. Of course, coming here for the first time is always a challenge but, on the other hand, it's also my home race so it's great to be here. There's a lot of support - doing the track walk this morning was funny, as we had cars stopping on the street asking for autographs and it made a mess - so we're looking forward to driving here.”