The 2018 season has not been one to remember so far for Romain Grosjean. After losing points through a wheelnut issue in Australia, the Frenchman has suffered a bumpy ride, with a sequence of bad luck and mistakes leaving him as one of just two drivers on the grid without a world championship point – a stat put into even sharper focus by the fact his team mate Kevin Magnussen has scored 27…
However, Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says Grosjean – out of contract at the end of the season - still has a chance to ‘make it good’ before the American team make decisions about their 2019 driver line-up, starting this weekend in Spielberg.
“As we said all along, we decide our drivers over the summer break and then come out with that afterwards,” said Steiner. “We focus on going racing now. Kevin is on a high, I think Romain is on a low at the moment. There is four races to go [until the break], so he can still make it good. And we try to focus on getting into the summer break in the best position we can.”
Grosjean qualified 10th at his home race in France last time out following a crash in qualifying, before racing to 11th on Sunday after being penalised for contact with Esteban Ocon at the start.
“Romain seems to be back to his own normal - he wasn’t down from the last race,” added Steiner. “I hope he can get some points this week and start to get some points so we can better our position in this championship.”
Grosjean made an excellent start to the four-race sequence on Friday in Austria as he finished both practice sessions in an encouraging seventh.
“The car has performed very well, so we’re happy with where we are,” he said. “The balance has been pretty good. We’ve got some more work to do but, generally, it’s good and I’m happy with it, but we can make some changes to it to make it even faster.
“I’m very much looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.”
In four previous races in Austria, Grosjean has scored two top ten finishes, including sixth place last year. Could this be the race where he ends his lengthy points drought?