Romain Grosjean’s failure to score points in the opening three rounds of the 2018 Formula 1 season is not a worry for Haas, insists team principal Guenther Steiner. 

The Frenchman comfortably ran inside the top-five at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix until a cross-threaded wheel nut on both Haas F1 cars led to a disastrous double retirement following the pit stops. 

Having been unable to progress through the first segment of qualifying in Bahrain, loose bodywork curtailed Grosjean during the race and prevented a recovery drive through the field, while he could only finish 17th last time out in China after an attempted one-stop strategy backfired. 

In contrast, teammate Kevin Magnussen has collected all of Haas’ 11 points so far this season. However Steiner has backed his driver to recover from his frustrating start to the campaign, and added Haas is not applying any undue pressure on Grosjean. 

“It’s actually not a problem,” Steiner explained. “While Romain hasn’t had the results he would’ve liked and we all wished we had, for one reason or another, there was never a lack of performance. 

“There are no issues within the team. We have a good team atmosphere and Romain will get the results he and we want. I have no doubt about that.”

Grosjean, who has scored more than half of the entire points the American squad has recorded since it entered F1 in 2016 (57 of 87), believes he is due a turnaround in luck. 

“We haven’t had much luck yet,” he said. “We’ve had three races where we were looking at points, and three times where we haven’t scored. 

“Knowing that we’ve got a good baseline and a good car is very exciting. I know it’s going to come our way at some point. Hopefully, that’s going to be in Baku.”

Magnussen and Grosjean had a near-miss while fighting for position in Bahrain, before the latter was instructed to let Magnussen past early on in China. Steiner played down talk of frictions within the team and said driver-management is even more crucial this year given how competitive Haas’ 2018 challenger is. 

“It’s not an easy thing to manage, but it’s a nice thing to manage. Sometimes you need to manage emotions, but I think we have good ground rules in place between the two drivers. They’re pushing each other in a different place and it’s more obvious. 

“It seems like we could always have two cars in the points if everything goes right, and that’s really the only thing that has changed. 

“Before, there were more ups and downs and we weren’t always in contention to finish in the top-10, but having a solid car in the VF-18 allows us to always compete for points.”


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