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Haas picks up first F1 double-score in Monaco GP

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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.”

Grosjean doubts Button will struggle on F1 return in Monaco

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Romain Grosjean doubts Jenson Button will have any trouble getting to back up to speed upon his Formula 1 return in Monaco next weekend with McLaren.

Button decided to stop racing full-time in F1 at the end of last year, but was drafted in by McLaren to replace Fernando Alonso in Monaco while the Spaniard takes part in the Indianapolis 500.

Button opted against testing the 2017-spec McLaren-Honda MCL32 in Bahrain last month, meaning his first taste of the car will come during first practice on Thursday in Monaco.

Given the significant changes between the F1 cars in 2016 and 2017, Button may face a steep learning curve, but Grosjean doubts the 2009 world champion will have too many issues getting up to speed.

“First thing he has to do is get used to the width of the car, especially in Monaco,” Grosjean said.

“Jenson is a great champion. He’s been world champion and he knows what he’s doing. He’s going to be on it pretty quickly.

“If we can take advantage of the fact that he’s not got much experience in the car at the beginning, we’ll use that for our own performance, but I’m sure he’s going to be good straight away.”

Speaking about Alonso’s decision to skip Monaco for the ‘500, Grosjean said: ““t’s pretty amazing and he’s doing well in the testing. It’s a really good race.

“It’s a nice one, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch. I’ll have a look at the highlights.”

Haas reveals new-look Formula 1 livery to debut in Monaco

Photo: Haas F1 Team
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Following a tweak to its Formula 1 livery design for last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Haas has opted to take another step and revise its look ahead of next Sunday’s race in Monaco.

NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas took his eponymous F1 operation onto the grid in 2016, racing in the red, black and gray colors of Haas Automation.

The team made little changes to its livery between 2016 and 2017, but was required to make alterations for the last race in Spain as per the FIA’s updated guidelines of driver identification stickers.

Haas has now taken advantage of this to make more widespread changes to its car design, ditching the majority of red that previously adorned the VF-17 in favor of a light gray.

“It is for the whole year now,” team principal Guenther Steiner added. “With the change in the size of the numbers and its positioning, we looked into making the entire car a little more visible.”

Here was the initial livery:

MONTMELO, SPAIN – MAY 14: Romain Grosjean of France driving the (8) Haas F1 Team Haas-Ferrari VF-17 Ferrari on track during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 14, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

And here is the new one:

F1 drivers elect Romain Grosjean new GPDA director

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Romain Grosjean has been made a director of the Grand Prix Drivers Association by his fellow Formula 1 drivers, taking over from Jenson Button.

After stepping back from his McLaren F1 race seat at the end of last year, Button has not been present at any grands prix so far this year, but is due to race in Monaco when Fernando Alonso is at the Indianapolis 500.

The GPDA held a vote for its new director during the Russian Grand Prix weekend, with Grosjean being nominated by his peers to take over the role.

Grosjean races for NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas’ eponymous F1 team, and is one of the sport’s longest-serving drivers, having made his debut back in 2009 with Renault.

Grosjean joins fellow director Sebastian Vettel and chairman Alexander Wurz in running the GPDA.

“In the GPDA assembly held in Sochi on Friday 28 April, Romain Grosjean was elected GPDA director, replacing Jenson Button who stepped down from the position as a result of not permanently racing in the 2017 F1 world championship,” a short statement from the GPDA reads.

“I am proud to have been elected by my peers as director of the GPDA. We race drivers don’t always hold the same opinion, but as a group we are united in wanting the best for our sport,” Grosjean said.

“I believe was have an important role and duty to coordinate between each other and support the stakeholders in the evolution of the sport.”

“It was a pleasure working with Jenson over the past few years as he always puts in the interests of the drivers and the sport first. Thanks JB for all your effort,” Wurz added.

“Over recent years Romain has been a very active GPDA member. He has a lot of energy and thoughts about our sport and Sebastian. I welcome him as a great addition to the Grand Prix Drivers Association board.”

Grosjean, Palmer clash early in Sochi; stewards take no action (VIDEO)

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Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer laid blame with one another in Sochi on Sunday after a clash on the opening lap of the Russian Grand Prix resigned both to their second Formula 1 retirement of the season.

Grosjean and Palmer tangled at Turn 2 as the field came through the bottleneck at the first braking zone on Lap 1, causing both to spin into the wall and out of the race.

The stewards looked into the incident and deemed it to have been a racing collision, with no driver fully to blame, but both believed they did no wrong.

“I was on inside of him under braking. I don’t know why he turned in,” Grosjean told NBCSN after the race.

“He tried to get as much on the apex. He just hit me, spun me, then hit me again. We hoped we could understand what was going on during the weekend to prepare for the next race.

“It was just ruined in the first corner.”

When asked where the blame lay, Palmer said: “Not with me. [The] Sauber and Romain were close. I couldn’t do anything more. I had to turn in. It was ambitious. I got sandwiched and he hit me.

“I think you just have to be sensible. It pitches at the apex. Every time you turn to the apex, I had a Sauber with no space, Romain on the inside. I had to turn otherwise the Sauber would have hit me. Then Romain did.”

The clash signaled the end of a disappointing weekend for both drivers, with Palmer and Grosjean also dropping out of Q1 on Saturday in qualifying.

While Grosjean remains 12th in the drivers’ championship with four points to his name, Palmer still is yet to reach the top 10 in 2017 for Renault.