Esteban Gutierrez says he will keep fighting after a poor start to Sunday’s Italian Grand Prixcost him a shot at his first Formula 1 points in almost three years.
Gutierrez scored Haas F1 Team’s first Q3 finish in qualifying on Saturday, lining up 10th on the grid.
However, a slow start saw the Mexican driver drop all the way back to 20th place at the end of the first lap, leaving him with a fight through the field.
Gutierrez ultimately crossed the line 13th, 20 seconds off Jenson Button in P12 and Haas teammate Romain Grosjean in 11th.
“Very disappointing start, a lot of wheelspin, no reaction on the car. Not a great way to start the race,” Gutierrez explained to NBCSN after the race.
“I tried as quick as I could. Not ideal to fight with, it took me a bit of time. We had good rhythm. We just need to focus on solving this small detail which makes a big difference.”
Gutierrez conceded that the poor start hurt after qualifying so highly, knowing that his first points since Japan 2013 were within reach.
“It was horrible! It was really horrible because you have all the motivation, the pace, the car – and then with a bad start you see everyone coming back,” Gutierrez said.
“It’s important to be persistent. No matter how bad things get, keep fighting. Same as in life, racing is the same. It’s a great example of those details.”
Grosjean started 17th after being hit with a grid penalty following a gearbox change, but charged to 11th place by making a risky one-stop strategy work.
“We are just lacking a bit of speed in race to be in points. We tried an aggressive one stop strategy; but a bit of graining cost us a few seconds,” Grosjean told NBCSN.
“We needed 12 to get to P10. Just need to learn what we can do better for next race.
“We didn’t run much of the mediums and the engineers weren’t comfortable to put them on. We’ll look back. The numbers weren’t great. If we can fine tune our strategy we’ll be better.”
Grosjean is hopeful of Haas’ chances in Singapore in two weeks’ time though, confirming that the VF-16 car will receive a set of updates that should aid his push for points.
“Singapore is one of the great races of the season. We have a lot of new parts on the car coming and I think we’ll be good,” the Frenchman said.