Nothing ‘pants’ about Grosjean’s practice pace

Jon Wilde
Romain Grosjean Haas

Romain Grosjean Haas

Romain Grosjean enjoyed an “absolutely mega” Friday practice day at the Spanish Grand Prix – despite needing three changes of underwear.

Haas have been suffering a poor 2020 season with only one World Championship point scored so far, courtesy of Grosjean’s team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

But there was much more encouragement in the Frenchman’s side of the garage after he finished in the top six of both practice sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The only problem was that the mid-August heat in Barcelona meant Grosjean was racking up quite the laundry bill.

Asked by F1 where his impressive pace had come from, the 34-year-old said: “Pinch me, I don’t know! In all fairness, nobody really knows. It’s the same car as it was since the beginning of the year.

“Sixth in FP1, fifth in FP2, the long run pace was pretty good so really happy with that. There’s some more work we can do on the car to bring it even more to my liking but generally, what a day!

“It was absolutely mega, but very hot. I changed three pairs of underwear today because of the sweat. I’m lucky, I’ve got some spare ones here! The glamour of Formula 1…there you have it! It’s very sweaty, very hot.”

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Grosjean hopes that rather than being a one-off, this performance indicates Haas are on the right path. He had been hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons previously this season, for calling into question his team’s future and using some questionable defensive driving tactics during races.

“I think it’s getting better and better,” he said of the car. “Hopefully we can fight for a good position. I hope nothing changes and all stays the same, tomorrow we can go for a good quali and really set up a good weekend.

“We’ll just keep doing the best we can, keep working on the car. There’s nothing we can do that will change what the others do. All I can do is just keep driving the car the way I did.”

Magnussen was also upbeat and, after finishing P9 in FP1, did not feel his FP2 position of P16 truly reflected his pace.

“I didn’t get a great run on low fuel in FP2,” said the Dane. “The best lap time doesn’t look good but Romain showed what’s in the car.

“On high fuel it was very positive. It seems to be working very well around here. Hopefully we won’t lose too much when it comes to qualifying.

“I think this track suits us a little better. I’m pretty positive and happy about today. It won’t look like this in qualifying, but hopefully we can get a little further up the grid than we have been and then have a good race.”

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