May 23, 2018 / 6:52 PM / 3 months ago

Motor racing: Grosjean plays down his lack of points

MONACO (Reuters) - Romain Grosjean has not scored points for nine races but the French Formula One driver played down his misfortunes on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One - F1 - Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan - April 26, 2018 Romain Grosjean of Haas F1 team ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

“I think you’re making a bit bigger a mountain out of a mole... thing,” he told reporters when asked about breaking his ‘run of bad luck’ at the Monaco Grand Prix. “I can’t remember the saying.”

The Haas driver, who has long-harbored hopes of graduating to Ferrari, is one of only two men yet to score in five races this season. He has retired three times and finished 17th and 13th in the others.

In Spain, two weekends ago, he spun at the start and took out Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly as his Ferrari-powered car speared across the track in a cloud of tyre smoke.

For that, he was handed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Monaco showcase.

In Azerbaijan before that, the 32-year-old spun into the wall while in a scoring position and with the safety car deployed. He said afterwards that he was warming up the tyres and accidentally bumped a switch.

“The last two races didn’t go quite to plan,” Grosjean said on Wednesday.

“It happens that sometimes you go through tough times. What happened in Barcelona was just unfortunate that I lost the rear end avoiding a contact with my team mate and that was it.

“The performance is there, the car is doing great and the team is doing an amazing job. Yes, we don’t have any points on the board but I’m not too worried.”

Team boss Guenther Steiner had earlier assured reporters that Grosjean’s future with the U.S.-owned outfit was not in doubt.

“When somebody has two bad races there’s no point to start rumors, or to start to do things about it,” he said.

“The only thing that we need to do is to get Romain back to where he is capable of competing, which we all know is a very capable guy.

“I’m not a person when if someone’s on his knees I try to kick him, that’s unfair.”

Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen has scored 19 points for Haas so far this season, keeping the team sixth overall.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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