Grosjean hails ‘brilliant’ qualifying for Haas

Michelle Foster
Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean

Haas finally got both cars inside the top ten in qualifying for the Brazilian GP, doing so for the first time since May’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Nearing the end of a season that hasn’t gone according to plan for Haas, the team had cause to smile at the Interlagos circuit on Saturday.

Romain Grosjean qualified in eighth place, and reckons it could have been even better had he not tried to get a tow from pole sitter Max Verstappen.

But while Saturday was “brilliant” for the team, Grosjean admits Sunday could be a different story.

“A brilliant job by the team, having both cars into Q3 is unbelievable,” said the Frenchman.

“Tomorrow may be a different day [because of the warmer temperatures] but it doesn’t matter, we take the pleasure from today.

“It’s been great. In free practice, we didn’t get to show the speed we had, but I had confidence we would be around P11.

“Then Q2 went really well and Q3 not too bad. I was following Verstappen, which was not a good idea, as I didn’t get the tow – he was too fast and was too far away.

“I’m happy for the team. Bear in mind it is the car from Melbourne.”

Kevin Magnussen made it two VF-19s inside the top-ten, promoted to P9 on the grid by Charles Leclerc’s penalty.

But while the Dane was happy with Sunday’s showing, he too is wary about what Sunday’s warmer temperatures will do to Haas’ pace.

“We’ve seen before this season that the car can qualify well,” said Magnussen.

“I’ll be more surprised if we can keep the positions tomorrow.

“We’ve been off the pace in the last few races, so it’s good to be back in Q3 with both cars.

“It just shows we have some potential, it’s just we’re not able to unlock it very often with this car.

“We’ll see how it goes tomorrow but it’ll be hotter. Tyre management will be difficult.

“[The warmer conditions] should be an issue for us, in terms of keeping the tyres under control.

“So we will just do what we can and try and hang on, it’s not going to be easy. But we’ll do what we normally do, and try and hang on to it.”

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