Romain Grosjean said Haas’ VF-20 transformed into perhaps the worst F1 car he has driven at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a circuit where Haas has traditionally been strong since joining Formula 1 in 2016, even recording a double-points finish last season with the VF-19 which became known for sinking down order on a race day.
And the 2020 race weekend started well for Grosjean who finished P6 and P5 respectively in the Friday practice sessions to give Haas hopes of another productive visit to Barcelona.
But from there came a major decline. Grosjean would be eliminated in Q1, lining up for the race in P17, and come Sunday he finished as the last of the classified runners in P19.
The Frenchman described his race as “hell”, adding that the VF-20 at the Spanish GP may have been the worst car he has ever driven in Formula 1.
“This is hell. Honestly, that car was unstoppable,” Grosjean is quoted by L’Equipe.
“One of the worst races of my career. It was horrible.
“The car was nowhere from the first few laps.
“I don’t know what happened between Friday and Saturday, and then Sunday, but it wasn’t the same F1 car.
“On Friday, the car was top in the long runs, but also in the qualifying simulations. And then… it was maybe the worst car I’ve ever driven in my life.”
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) August 16, 2020
Haas principal Guenther Steiner said he is used to these “strong words” from his drivers by now, even though they do little to help the team.
But instead of talking Steiner said Haas need to focus on finding out why their pace fell away so drastically between Friday and Sunday.
“I will not comment on the words spoken every day about best car, worst car,” he said.
“What matters is to take a step back and analyse why we went from strong on Friday to struggling on Sunday. We lost two seconds per lap which is very strange.
“I’m used to the strong words from my drivers. Of course, some of them don’t help us but I’ll survive.”
The question is will the Haas team survive? Steiner has already said there will be no announcements on the team’s 2021 driver line-up in the near future because team owner Gene Haas isn’t yet committed to staying in the series.