While Romain Grosjean remains bemused by heading up the Formula 1 midfield with his older specification Haas ahead of the German Grand Prix, he outlines the positive impact it will have on the team.

The French driver has endured a tough run of form over the past four races, including a crash with his Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, and after struggling for feeling and confidence with the team’s updates he reverted to the Australian Grand Prix specification car he started the season with in March.

After his first try of the Melbourne-spec car at Silverstone was cut short by his clash with Magnussen, the French driver has continued the trial in Germany and found instant success by topping the F1 midfield at the end of Friday practice at Hockenheim. Grosjean produced a 1m 14.179s to take sixth place on the timesheet.

Grosjean says the older specification of Haas F1 car has restored his confidence in the cockpit, with focus on high and low speed cornering, and feels it’s a positive sign for the US team knowing it produced a strong package at the start of the season to build upon.

“It is the confidence that you have in the car that you can really push it in the high speed corners and you can really play with it,” Grosjean said. “Then in the low speed and entry phase it is outstanding.

“There is a limitation on the front with understeer but mid corner and traction is quite good so I guess it is the high speed and entry stability which is good.

“I think we need to take it positively, we need to take it that the guys have produced a car earlier in the year that was very competitive and very good.

“Yes, the upgrade did not work as expected, and we need to understand why things didn’t quite follow the plan, but yes, today’s the car from Melbourne. From winter testing we knew it was a very good car, so that’s a positive.”

Grosjean also feels his strong Friday showing also acts as a timely boost after coming under pressure at Haas given his poor record so far in 2019 with just two points scored from the opening 10 rounds.

“It has been a long time since we have been this competitive on a Friday and things went smoothly so I am happy with that in tricky conditions as it was very warm,” he said.

“We have been working very well and done a lot of tests on the car, more than we have done over the season so far, and had some good answers. Some less clear stuff but we are very happy with our Friday.”

 

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