Haas F1 Team Scores Points in Back to Back Races
Haas F1 Team’s strong start to its debut season in the 2016 Formula One World Championship continued at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
After starting ninth, Romain Grosjean finished an impressive fifth in the 57-lap race around the 15-turn Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. It was his second point-scoring result in as many races, as the 29-year-old finished sixth two weeks ago in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. The eight points earned in Melbourne combined with the 10 points secured in Bahrain have placed Grosjean fifth in the driver standings – the highest position of his Formula One career.
The back-to-back efforts have also placed Haas F1 Team a solid fifth in the constructor standings. The first American team to compete in Formula One in 30 years is only two points behind fourth-place Williams and seven points ahead of sixth-place Toro Rosso.
Grosjean led the way for Haas F1 Team. Running an aggressive strategy based on three planned pit stops, Grosjean hit his marks each time. Grosjean cracked the top-six with 10 laps remaining courtesy of an effortless pass on Massa, a carbon-copy of his earlier move on the veteran driver. With a handful of laps remaining, Grosjean secured fifth and was cleared by the team to push all the way to the finish, the team confident of his advantage. When the checkered flag dropped, Grosjean was 2.630 seconds ahead of sixth-place Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen.
“This is the American dream,” stated Romain Grosjean. “It is unbelievable. I said we had to manage our expectations after we finished sixth in Australia, but here we finished fifth. There’s still a lot of things we can do better, from pit stops to the setup of the car and so on but, for now, this one is for the guys. I looked at their faces last night and they were all very tired because of the amount of work we’re doing. This is a massive reward. Really, just unbelievable. In the race, I had a good feeling in the car. It was an aggressive strategy, but managing tires has always been my strength in the past. Knowing we had a softer compound for this racetrack was something I liked. The car was set up well for the supersoft tires and I had a fantastic race. The car has a very good baseline. Everything is working well. I don’t think I’ve ever been as high as fifth in the driver standings. This is the first time in my career, I can’t believe it.”
“We have done a fantastic job,” said Esteban Gutierrez. “After a great start, where I gained a lot of positions, I was feeling very confident. I was very happy with how the car was feeling, and I was managing my tires and fuel well. Unfortunately, we had an issue with the front brake and we felt we couldn’t continue, so I had to retire. I’m now looking ahead to China. The team is performing really well. The speed is there and we have a great car. So, I will keep fighting for the next race.”
“A fantastic day for the team,” said Team Principal, Guenther Steiner. “Romain did a great job. The whole team did a great job. The only downside is that Esteban didn’t complete the race. We had a problem with the left-front brake, which we’re going to investigate further. Our aim now for China is to get two cars to the finish and to finish in the points. We’ve done a few pit stops, which gives us a lot of confidence. We can’t wait to go to the next race and to try and keep this form going.”
Next up for Haas F1 Team is round 3 of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Practice begins April 15, qualifying takes place April 16, and the race runs April 17.