Romain Grosjean made no secret of his frustration after missing out on a points finish in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, calling it “bloody annoying”.
Grosjean and Haas Formula 1 teammate Esteban Gutierrez secured the team’s first double-Q3 appearance on Saturday at Suzuka, qualifying P8 and P10 respectively.
Grosjean dropped to ninth off the line before falling outside the points, leaving him with a fightback if he wanted to end Haas’ run without points that dates back to the middle of July.
The Frenchman ultimately crossed the line 11th, less than a second behind Williams’ Valtteri Bottas in P10.
“We struggled at first with the softs [tires], a lot of graining. But then the car was flying!” Grosjea told NBCSN after the race.
“I’ve never been so frustrated to end a race because we deserved much more. We were so much faster than the Williams.
“The pace was amazing. A lot of promise, but it’s so bloody annoying to be that close and not do anything.”
Grosjean has struggled with brake problems through the past few races, but said that Haas is now on top of the issue.
“The brakes, we know what’s happening. Not enough energy in brakes when they’re cold, and they don’t work,” he explained.
“No confidence then. But that was one of the best drives of my career, even if no points!
“I’m so frustrated with the result but so optimistic about the updates and the pace we have. We know what we can do.”
Gutierrez saw his hopes of points end after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr. dropped him out of contention, miring him towards the back of the field. The Mexican crossed the line in 20th place.
“Everything started pretty good. We’ve been working a lot on getting the best out of our start and today that proved to be better,” Gutierrez said.
“On the first stint, things were going well. We were managing the gap, pushing to get higher up to the front of the grid. I then came into the pits and I ended back out behind a lot of traffic, and that was it.
“I was trying to push forward, trying to overtake, and then I had an incident with Carlos. He braked a bit early, closing the door, and I had nowhere to go as I was preparing the corner to overtake him on the straight.
“After that, I had some damage on the front wing which wasn’t ideal. Unfortunately, this is how the race went. It was not what we wanted, but now we need to keep pushing and keep a good rhythm and really put in a good performance as we head to our home race in Texas.”