Getty Images

Haas picks up first F1 double-score in Monaco GP

1 Comment

Haas picked up its first double-points finish since arriving in Formula 1 at the beginning of last season as Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen both hit the top 10 in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas took his eponymous team into F1 at the start of 2016, with Grosjean leading the charge through its rookie season, scoring all 29 of its points.

Grosjean and Magnussen both scored points in the races leading up to Monaco, although never on the same day, making their double result on Sunday a poignant one for the team.

Grosjean spent the entirety of his race inside the top 10, ultimately finishing eighth, while Magnussen fought back from a late puncture to take P10.

“A first time with two cars in the points is something we wanted to achieve this year,” team principal Guenther Steiner said. “We achieved it in race six. We wanted it before then, but race six is not too bad.

“Like I said after qualifying, everybody did a good job. We fell out of the points and we got back in after the puncture, so I think we can be pretty happy and content with what we did here.

“Everybody executed. We never lost our cool. We always stayed on top of it. We got unlucky, but then we got lucky again at the end, so we’re fine. We’re maturing. It takes time to mature and I think, now, we see some results.

“There will still be ups and downs, but we’re always making steps. Sometimes you don’t see them because we’re not in the points, so nobody realizes, but the team has not just made a magic step today. We’ve made improvements over the last six months.”

Hartley happy with ‘big progression’ on first day with Toro Rosso

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With 69 laps completed (28 in free practice one and 41 in free practice two) and respectable lap times in both sessions, Brendon Hartley quickly acclimated to a modern day Formula 1 chassis in his first run with Scuderia Toro Rosso in Friday practice for the United States Grand Prix.

The Porsche factory driver has been drafted into the team following a convoluted series of musical chairs that sees Daniil Kvyat back after a two-race absence, Carlos Sainz Jr. now at Renault and Pierre Gasly racing at the Super Formula season finale in Suzuka.

Over the time in the car today, Hartley experienced changeable conditions in FP1 before a more normal FP2, and discovered the new F1 cockpit after a day learning in the garage yesterday.

“A steep learning curve today! It all went pretty smoothly and I kept the car on track without making too many mistakes, so I’m quite happy,” the New Zealander reflected at day’s end.

“I didn’t really know what to expect from today because I just had so much to learn! I think I made quite a big progression throughout the day.

“The biggest difference from what I’m used to is the high-speed grip, it’s incredible here in Formula 1…it was quite an eye-opener! Another challenge are the tires, which are also quite different to what I’m used to. On the other hand, the long-run looks quite positive and I did a good job managing the tires there – the biggest thing I need to work on now is the new tire pace, and I’ll get another crack at it tomorrow morning before qualifying.

“All in all, I’d say it’s all coming together. We’ll now work hard and go through plenty of data tonight and hopefully I’ll make another step forward tomorrow.”

His best lap was 1.1 seconds up on Friday driver Sean Gelael, the Indonesian Formula 2 driver, in FP1 (1:39.267 to 1:40.406, good enough for 14th) and 1.1 seconds off the returning Kvyat in FP2 (1:37.987 to 1:36.761, good enough for 17th). Interestingly, the Gelael/Hartley combination in FP1 marked the second time in three races that Toro Rosso had a pair of drivers in its cars without a single Grand Prix start between them – Gasly’s debut at Malaysia was the other, when he and Gelael were in in FP1.

Coming into Friday’s running, Hartley said he was more ready for this opportunity now than he had been as a teenager. He admitted he’d called Red Bull’s Helmut Marko in the wake of Porsche’s LMP1 withdrawal news earlier this year to say he was game for any chance that might come.

“I’m a lot stronger than I was back then, basically. I wasn’t ready at 18 years old. I like to think I’m ready now,” he said.

“I haven’t driven a single-seater since 2012, but I like to think that Porsche LMP1 has hopefully prepared me well.”

As for the rest of his weekend, it’s been made more complicated by Hartley being assessed a 25-spot grid penalty, even though Hartley had done nothing to accrue the penalties.

The roundabout sequence of driver changes at Toro Rosso saw Gasly replace Kvyat, Kvyat replace Sainz, and now Hartley replace Gasly, as is outlined by NBCSN pit reporter Will Buxton below.