To ensure he retains the F1 seat at Haas, Romain Grosjean has to continue to perform well, says team principal Gunther Steiner, indicating the seat is not a done deal.
After a difficult start to the season, Grosjean finally opened his account at Austrian Grand Prix and scored points in the last few races.
The American outfit is stuck in a stiff fight with Renault to claim the fourth place in the constructors’ championship and every time Grosjean scores points, his position gets stronger.
Steiner expects the Frenchman to stick to his current form for the rest of the season.
At the Italian Grand Prix, Grosjean finished sixth but got disqualified due to a technicality.
Speaking of the incident, Steiner said: “Obviously, races like this: this is what Romain does normally.
“What we need to get from him is to keep it at that level and not going up and down, the fluctuation. You always get fluctuation, but it is just how much you can fluctuate. I think he is doing pretty good at the moment…..”
On his part, Grosjean felt he needed a reset after his confidence took a hit after several weird first lap incidents.
“I think I’ve understood a few things and got back to where I should have been at the beginning of the year,” he said. “Now I’m back to where I want to be and I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving and looking forward to go racing.”
When asked if his revival was more due to a change in car setup or his own approach, Grosjean said: “It was more me. A few mistakes that I made that I shouldn’t have done.
“Initially I struggled with the setup which may have hampered a bit my confidence. I made mistakes that I shouldn’t have done. Baku was a painful one and took some time to digest it.
“It’s the same as 2012. I was not deliberately crashing into others at Turn 1. It was just understanding what was making me take the wrong decisions instead of the right ones when you have two-tenths of a second to think about it.”
Steiner’s carrot and stick comment is another warning to the Frenchman that his seat in 2019 is not guaranteed. Since Haas started moving up the grid, several top drivers have shown interest in joining the American outfit.
Many believe a top-rated driver like Esteban Ocon or Sergio Perez can give a more consistent performance and help the team move even further up the grid.