Esteban Gutierrez thanked the Haas Formula 1 Team for its work after scoring his best qualifying result of the season so far in Monaco on Saturday.
Gutierrez finished 12th in Q2, beating teammate Romain Grosjean for the first time in qualifying this year and finishing less than two-tenths of a second off a Q3 berth.
Haas arrived in Monaco hopeful of resolving the issues that blighted its Spanish Grand Prix, and Gutierrez’s result suggested that progress had been made.
“I’m very happy with today. It’s been a positive day,” Gutierrez said.
“At the start it was difficult to get the tires right, and run by run I was trying to modify and adapt to the circumstances. Finally, we got everything together.
“With a 12th position start in Monte Carlo, a lot can happen in the front. I’m very proud of the team and the work we’ve been doing. Communication has been improving.
“We’ve been understanding the car step by step, and this will give us a lot of confidence going forward.
“Overall, it’s been a very good day for us.”
Grosjean may have only qualified 15th, but he too felt that the team had made significant progress since the race in Spain.
“We had the speed to go into Q3. We showed that in Q1,” Grosjean said.
“Just two times there was traffic on my out laps in Q2. We went out behind the Mercedes and they were going slow and that’s what got me.
“If the tires had been ready for the first timed lap, everything would have been fine, but they’re really had to warm up.
“Everyone’s doing different things, of course. Mercedes has more downforce than others, so they were going slower when I needed faster out laps. It was tricky.
“Traffic is part of the game, but twice we went in exactly the same group of cars, and that didn’t help us. I think we could have made it to Q3 and that would have been a great achievement.
“The positives are that the car feels better, but the negative is that we are P15.”
Team principal Guenther Steiner was satisfied with Haas’ first qualifying display in Monaco.
“I’m pretty happy with qualifying. Both drivers did a good job,” Steiner said.
“For Esteban to start 12th in Monte Carlo is great. The whole team reacted to the situations that came up in qualifying very well.
“Romain was on a fast lap when he lost time in the middle sector, so we still need to investigate what happened there, but overall we’re happy to start where we’re placed.
“If you line up between 10th and 16th, anything can happen, and providing we don’t get involved in any incidents, anything is possible.”
The Monaco Grand Prix is live on NBC from 7:30am ET on Sunday, with F1 Countdown beginning on NBCSN at 7am ET.