Romain Grosjean ensured that Haas’ first Formula 1 points drought lasted just a single race by finishing Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix in eighth place.
Grosjean gave NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas’ eponymous operation a fairytale start to life in F1 by scoring points in its first two races in Australia and Bahrain.
However, Haas came back down to earth with a bump in China two weeks ago when both Grosjean and teammate Esteban Gutierrez failed to score, spending the entirety of their races outside the top 10.
Grosjean started 15th in Russia and struggled with the setup on his car all weekend long, but a messy first lap for the cars ahead allowed him to make up a number of positions.
Grosjean found himself running P8 in the closing stages of the race, and managed to soak up the pressure from a charging Sergio Perez to hold onto the position at the flag and pick up another four points for Haas.
“75 percent is a good score!” Grosjean told NBCSN after the race, citing Haas’ points ratio thus far in F1.
“Very difficult weekend. We did a very good first lap to get around all the incidents. Lost a position at the pit stop. I’m still not 100 per cent happy with the behavior but it should be better for the next race.”
Haas’ biggest strength so far this season has been its strategy calls, but the lack of tire wear in Sochi meant that a one-stop race was the only logical move for all teams to take.
“It was a very close strategy in terms of tires,” Grosjean said. “Everyone knew it would be supersoft, soft.
“But we avoided incidents and pushed where we could. At the end we did a great job.”