Romain Grosjean insists he has no concerns about his Haas Formula 1 car after suffering a bizarre front wing failure during second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The front wing on Grosjean’s VF-19 challenger began to collapse as he began his qualifying simulation run in Shanghai, before completely failing later on in the lap. The Frenchman said he was not aware of the issue until he was informed by his team over the radio having had a massive lock up under braking at Turn 14.

“I don’t think I hit any kerb,” Grosjean said. “It collapsed in Turn 1. It’s quite clear on the TV footage it went in turn one and went a second time, completely, in Turn 13.

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“The engineers saw it on the data going at Turn 1 and then I saw the replay,” he added. “But at Turn 1 you are always touching the ground and creating sparks.

“It was just after turn in that it went. I went into Turn 14 and had a massive lock up and didn’t know why, and then they told me I had a front wing issue.

“It just went on its own so we need to just look at everything and understand it.”

It marked the latest in a string of breakages on Haas F1 cars in recent years - with Grosjean facing a similar issue in Bahrain - though he played down suggestions the incidents could be related to how the US squad’s cars are designed.

“We try things and obviously try to make the car as light as you can and sometimes you overdo it,” he explained. “Maybe that’s not even the case, I’m not a designer, I haven’t got into it.

“I’ve just finished the session, I’m more focused on getting the performance out of the car than thinking why the front wing went. I’m not worried, the guys always solve the issue. The build of the car is really impressive so I think it’s going to be good.”

Grosjean ended up 17th in the timesheets after seeing his only flying effort “compromised” by the issue, but he remains upbeat about Haas’ chances

“I’m not too worried about qualifying in general and getting the pace for one lap, it’s more the race pace that we are focusing on after Bahrain especially,” he said.

“I think it’s difficult to take anything out of FP2 because we had the front wing issue, which cost us from Turn 1 so the lap was ruined by that.

“The long runs felt a bit better in the afternoon but I don’t think we are exactly where we want to be at the minute. There’s some work to be done in the car. I think we have ideas of what we want to do so we will work on that tonight.

“Qualifying is one thing but it’s really about the race and making the car right, using the straight line speed for overtaking, so you want to have the race pace.

“It looks tight in the midfield,” he added. “Renault looks good here and so does McLaren. It’s always hard to predict after a Friday and I think the most important thing is that we keeping working on our car to get a good feeling out of it and then tomorrow things should come smoothly.”

 

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