Grosjean not suffering lack of confidence, insists Steiner

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-18.
© XPB 

Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner says that Romain Grosjean isn't downhearted or suffering from a lack of confidence after a run of accidents, mistakes and poor results in 2018.

Grosjean is yet to score a point this season. He was running in the top ten in Azerbaijan when he apparently flipped the wrong switch and spun into the wall while running behind the safety car.

He spun out at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix, and was handed a three-place penalty for Monaco as a result. Last time out on Canada he made it to the finish but was once again outside the points.

But Grosjean's spirits have been bolstered by the prospect of performing before his home fans this weekend, with the first French Grand Prix in a decade on the calendar.

“I think he got his confidence back after what happened in Barcelona and Baku," Steiner told reporters at Circuit Paul Ricard on Friday. "His competitiveness in Canada was good.

"I think he’s in good spirits after Canada. He’s very positive about the upgrade we brought to Canada, which we have here.

“He was very happy with the car, very comfortable with it," Steiner insisted. "Just the result wasn’t there.

Grosjean had been forced to start from the back row in Montreal after his turbo blew up in the first minute of qualifying. He fought back to finish in 12th place, just half a second off Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly.

Steiner confirmed that there was no lasting damage from the blow-up and that there wouldn't be any grid penalties for Grosjean as a result.

“No damage to the turbo," he said. "[It was] oil which leaked into the cylinder and therefore the smoke came out. But no damage."

With Grosjean yet to score in 2018, all of Haas' 19 championship points have been earned by his team mate Kevin Magnussen, chiefly thanks to strong results for the Dane in Bahrain and Spain.

But that means Haas is down in eighth place in the constructors standings, far off where they were hoping to be at this point of the season.

“We shouldn’t be where we are, we’re fully conscious of this," admitted Stainer. "The car is competitive so we have no excuse on that side,” he said.

“We just need to get a race weekend with both cars in the points," he said. "We can make up points pretty quick if everything goes right.

"But nothing seems to be going right at the moment," he sighed.

Asked by reporters whether the team was looking to shake-up its driver line-up in 2019 in the face of its current disappointing form, Steiner said there would be no discussions on that topic until the summer break at the end of July.

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