Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean’s critical comments on the team radio have become a feature of this F1 season, and the Frenchman has regularly been captured complaining about his Haas chassis during practice sessions and races.
In Singapore – where a disastrous weekend saw him fail to make the start – he even said it was the worst car he had ever driven.
However, his team principal Guenther Steiner insists that he’s happy to let Grosjean continue to speak his mind in public, rather than save his more colorful comments for the garage or debrief.
“You know me, I let people speak,” said Steiner. “He’s got an opinion. It’s his personality. It’s easy for me to say, ‘Romain, don’t say these things anymore.’ But then you guys have no fun! So why should I kill everybody’s fun?
“I’m not too critical about that. If he decides to be like this, it’s OK. After the race we spoke, he was frustrated, he was pissed off. I would be, and I am. He got over it, and he’s ready now for the next race. That’s the only thing you can do. We need to analyze what went wrong, but he didn’t do anything wrong, so he doesn’t have a lot to analyze. He has to get ready and get prepared for Malaysia.”
Grosjean logged very few practice laps in Singapore, before crashing in Q2. Then a failure on a reconnaissance lap before the race saw his car in the pits when the race started.
“His weekend started tough, and it ended worse,” said Steiner. “It started with going out in FP1, after one lap we didn’t have any turbo pressure, so we lost we lost the first session. We had a leak in the system, and we couldn’t fix it. We went out in FP2, overambitious, and we got it wring, because we tried to do too much in too short a time. Then in FP3 we couldn’t get it together, and in qualifying he tried hard, maybe too hard, and put it in the wall.
“Before the race the brake-by-wire system [failed]. I think he did four or five brakes and it was perfect, and then the pedal just went to the floor. At first we thought it was maybe in the electronics, but we reset everything, checked everything that we could. But we would have had to take the gearbox off and we didn’t know if a valve was broken or a cable was broken. By changing the engine twice, that didn’t help, so it was all an adding up of things.
“Sometimes it happens. It shouldn’t happen, I know that, we should be better than that. But when it goes wrong, it goes wrong.”