Qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix wasn't a spectacular affair for Haas F1 Team, as both Grosjean and Magnussen got eliminated early on. They'll face up uphill battle in the race.
The Q1 run-plan consisted of three timed stints for Grosjean and Magnussen utilizing the Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires throughout. A first lap spin at Turn One blighted Grosjean’s opening run. He went on to record a best lap of 1:18.599, for 18th overall, on his third and final tour. Magnussen posted his fastest lap of 1:18.436, placing him 17th, on his second run on fresh rubber.
With that, however, they were more than half a second off the Q1 cut-off time. The result is similar to the team's qualifying performance at Mexico last year, though back then, Grosjean ended up just a tenth down on the cut-off time.
Both drivers primarily blamed a lack of balance on their cars, with overnight changes unable to rectify the struggles they endured on Saturday.
“Last night we made a fair bit of change to the car, and in FP3 the car felt really good in terms of rear-end, so we were lacking front-end", said Romain Grosjean.
"We rebalanced everything, we got into qualifying, and I got into Turn One and I spun – just on braking. The changes we’ve got to do from one session to another is huge, it’s not something you normally do. We have to try to understand everything, we haven’t quite got on top of it. Hopefully we can find something.”
Kevin Magnussen was on the same line, but Team Principal Gunther Steiner thinks it all part of a bigger picture, exacerbated by the specifics at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City.
"No big surprise to me about this qualifying performance", said Steiner.
"I saw it coming, but that still doesn’t make it right. At this level of altitude, we just don’t carry enough downforce to let us do a decent run – nothing new. We need to work on our aerodynamics and just try to limit the damage this year, and not carry this performance into next year.
Everybody’s working hard on getting it better for next year. That’s the only thing we can and have to do."