Esteban Gutierrez’s hopes of scoring his first Formula 1 points in over two years were dashed on Sunday when a brake disc issue forced him to retire from the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Gutierrez ran as high as sixth early on at the Bahrain International Circuit after making a good start from 13th on the grid, benefitting from clashes between the drivers ahead.
However, the Mexican driver was forced to return to the pits and park his Haas F1 car up in the garage after an issue emerged on his front-left brake disc.
“After a great start, where I gained a lot of positions, I was feeling very confident,” Gutierrez said.
“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.”
Gutierrez last scored points at the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix, and failed to finish the opening race of his comeback season in Australia two weeks ago after being hit by Fernando Alonso.
Haas continues to ride high early on in its F1 story, though, with Romain Grosjean charging to fifth place in Bahrain on Sunday to pick up another 10 points for the team.
“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,” team principal Guenther Steiner said.
“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.”