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Haas returns to points as Grosjean banks seventh place in Austria


After scoring in three of the first four Grands Prix this season, Haas F1 Team had a four-race dry spell without points since the start of the traditional European season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in May.

But Romain Grosjean returned to the top 10 finishers Sunday in Austria, with seventh place in the Haas VF-16 Ferrari.

Grosjean’s four points finishes have now come in four different positions – sixth in Australia, a team-best fifth in Bahrain, eighth in Russia and now seventh today at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

Grosjean started 13th on Pirelli’s supersoft tires, then went 27 laps before pitting for softs which he’d run the remainder of the race. He gained spots during the safety car period for Sebastian Vettel’s frontstraight accident, but got docked five seconds post-race for a speeding penalty.

Nonetheless Grosjean was able to build enough of a gap to continue on and not lose further points. He’s 10th in the driver’s championship, the team still a solid eighth.

“It was a pretty good race. The first lap was not great. I was pushed out by another car and I lost quite a few positions,” Grosjean said. “After that we stayed out on the supersofts, even though the tires were going away. I managed to pick up some pace and run well. The safety car came when we had planned our stop, so that helped a little bit. After that I was behind (Jensen) Button. I was trying to chase him and overtake him, but it was just too hard to follow another car and then be able to pass.

“The last few laps, I learned I had a five-second penalty, so I had to open the gap to the car behind. I really pushed it to one hundred percent every single lap, which was quite fun, but stressful as well. I didn’t want to go out. In the end it was Perez that went out, so it was all good for me.”

Team principal Guenther Steiner added, “Finally back in the points, but we didn’t make it easy for ourselves. The whole team did a fantastic job and we ended up seventh and 11th. Romain got a time penalty. However, we managed to remain in our position. His tire strategy was a little different than most, but it worked and the car was quick.”

Teammate Esteban Gutierrez came up shy – again – of his elusive first points with his third 11th place finish of the season.

“For Esteban, his start wasn’t great, so he lost a few positions,” Steiner explained. “Also, his tire strategy didn’t work as we planned, but he managed to climb up the grid to finish in 11th, half a second behind (Pascal) Wehrlein. It will be Esteban’s third time in 11th, so it shows he can do it and the team can do it too. Overall, it’s a relief to have points again and we’re looking forward to Silverstone.”

As teams prepare for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next week, the next question will be whether Circuit of The Americas follows through on this tweet, below, since Haas F1 Team has scored points on the fourth of July weekend.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”