Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. 
Friday 29 April 2016.
World Copyright: Andy Hone/LAT Photographic
ref: Digital Image _ONY6916

Romain Grosjean Finishes Eighth in Russian Grand Prix

On a gorgeous day at the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean drove his VF-16 to a strong eighth-place finish in the Russian Grand Prix Sunday at the Sochi Autodrom. It was Grosjean’s third point-scoring result in the four races held this year, allowing him to climb one spot in the championship standings to seventh.

Grosjean earned his 38th career top-10 finish and his sixth top-10 in the last seven races via a one-stop strategy. After successfully navigating the first-lap, second-turn chaos that allowed him to advance from his 15th-place starting spot to eighth, Grosjean made his last set of tires work for the final 36 laps around Sochi Autodrom to hold off the Force India of Sergio Perez, who finished ninth after being a constant presence in Grosjean’s mirrors.

Grosjean’s performance at Sochi, along with his efforts at the Formula One season-opener in Australia and the year’s second race in Bahrain where he finished sixth and fifth, respectively, means that Haas F1 Team – the first American Formula One team in 30 years – has scored more point-paying finishes than any all-new program in this millennium. When Jaguar debuted in 2000 and when Toyota came on the scene in 2002, each entity managed only two point-paying finishes in their entire first seasons. Haas F1 Team has scored three-point paying finishes four races into its debut season, and the organization has 17 more races to collect additional points. The Russian Grand Prix solidified Haas F1 Team’s fifth-place position in the constructor standings, where it is 29 points behind fourth-place Williams and five points ahead of sixth-place Toro Rosso.

“It’s great to be back in the points, especially after a very difficult weekend where we were never very happy with the car,” stated Grosjean. It was a good first lap to avoid all the incidents, and then I kept (Sergio) Perez behind. There are still so many things we can improve on the car. I’m still not a hundred percent happy with the behavior. I think for the next race it’s going to be so much better. It’s very positive knowing that we have something that will become better.”

“A fantastic result for the team being in the points,” added Team Principal, Guenther Steiner. After the last two days of testing and qualifying, we didn’t expect to finish eighth. However, we were always aiming for the points and we pulled it off again. A big thanks to everyone for a great team effort. Obviously, it was very unfortunate for Esteban after his incident at the start, but he will get back from this and hopefully he’ll be in the points soon. It was a great race from Romain to keep his position, fighting left, right and center. It makes F1 interesting. It was a great race.”

Haas F1 Team returns to Europe for round 5 of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship is the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Practice begins May 13, qualifying takes place May 14 and the race runs May 15.