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Grosjean plays down 'awkward' pit-lane crash

SILVERSTONE, U.K. -- Haas driver Romain Grosjean played down his bizarre pit-lane crash at the start of the opening practice session for the British Grand Prix.

Haas has tried something different with Grosjean's car this week, taking the unusual step of reverting back to the specification it ran at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix for the Frenchman. Grosjean has felt uncomfortable with the car since it introduced a major upgraded at the Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth race of the year.

However, his hopes of extracting the potential of that new car suffered a blow in the opening moments of the session as he lost control on exit from the pit-lane -- he spun and was pitched into a wall. That ripped the front wing off the car and forced him to slowly drive back around the circuit so he could return to the pit-lane.

When he returned to the circuit after 40 minutes of repairs, he spun on his first flying lap with the new specification on a day which saw numerous drivers -- including five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton -- struggle to keep their cars on the newly-resurfaced Silverstone tarmac.

Grosjean brushed off the severity of the incident on Friday evening.

"[I had] Cold tyres, and when I removed the pitlane limiter, the car spun," he said. "It was a bit of an awkward moment, let's say!

"It's life. We laughed about it, I think that's what you should do. It didn't annoy us too much for the remainder of the day."

On the spin at Brooklands, he said: "Turn 6 was a bit dirty and bumpy and just difficult. New tarmac always brings some new and different type of grip, it got better in the afternoon but it was definitely a place where it was a bit tricky.

"It was my first lap and I didn't really know what to expect. The grip was outstanding in Turn 3 and 4 and I was expecting the same in Turn 6 and it wasn't."

Despite his disrupted start the Frenchman says the early signs from the new set-up have been good.

"The feeling is very good in the car -- much better than it was recently, which is great. I think the performance is not there [yet], which we can expect, especially with the wind, the wind is a big factor in our whole package.

"The feeling is really good so we need to analyse everything we can to ensure we can actually transfer that feeling into the new package and then into performance."

Grosjean enjoyed a less dramatic FP2 but finished down in 18th, while teammate Kevin Magnussen -- who is running the up-to-date specification of the car -- was 12th.