The American dream continued for the Haas F1 Team under the lights of the Sakhir circuit on Sunday as Romain Grosjean who finished the Australian Grand Prix in fifth place went one better in Bahrain coming home in fifth place for the American team in only their second Grand Prix.
Grosjean who started the race from ninth place made a good getaway off the line and made a three stop strategy work to finish the race just behind Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and just ahead of Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen. Speaking following the race, Grosjean stated:
This is the American dream. 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.
In contrast to Romain Grosjean, team mate Esteban Gutierrez had another disappointing race as just like the opening race in Australia, the Mexican was forced to retire from the race.
Speaking following the event he commented by saying:
We have done a fantastic job. 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.
Following the race, Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner commented by saying:
A fantastic day for the team. 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.