Romain Grosjean delivered a strong sixth-place finish in the Italian Grand Prix Sunday at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, allowing Haas F1 Team to eliminate the gap to fourth-place Renault in the constructors’ standings. The American squad, in only its third year competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship, is now tied with the factory Renault team atop the midfield.
Grosjean started sixth in the 53-lap race around the 5.793-kilometer (3.6-mile), 11-turn circuit and after a savvy start that saw him pick up fifth place when frontrunners Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton made contact, sending Vettel’s Ferrari spinning as Hamilton powered away in his Mercedes, Grosjean fought off Carlos Sainz Jr. in his Renault to hold on to fifth.
Grosjean relinquished the spot on lap 23 when he pitted, swapping his Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tires for Yellow softs. This dropped Grosjean to 11th, but as pit stops cycled through, he climbed back to sixth by lap 40. Fifth place was unobtainable as a resurgent Vettel came all the way from the back of the field after his opening-lap spin to take fourth. This was Grosjean’s fourth straight points-paying result, a streak that began with the July 22 German Grand Prix where he also finished sixth.
Grosjean’s teammate, Kevin Magnussen, endured a difficult Italian Grand Prix. After starting 11th, he was forced to take evasive action in turn one as the field stacked up in front of him. This dropped Magnussen to 12th. Three laps later, contact with the Force India of Sergio Perez in the Lesmos turns sent Magnussen to the pits for new tires and an attempt to repair some damaged bodywork. Magnussen exited the pits in 19th and wound up 17th after the retirements of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull.
Fourteen rounds into the 21-race Formula One schedule, Haas F1 Team is tied for fourth in the constructors’ standings with Renault. Each team has 84 points and holds a 32-point advantage over McLaren, the next closest team. Magnussen is eighth in the driver’s championship with 49 points and Grosjean is 12th with 35 points.
Seven races remain, with the next event coming Sept. 16 with the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit.
“It’s great to be in the points again and enjoying a good series of races. It was a good race, but tough. The Force Indias were definitely faster today. I had to push the car very hard to keep them behind. I was very happy with that, and very happy with the team’s progress. We’ve now moved up to fourth in the constructors’ standings, so that’s pretty amazing. I’ve never really had a good race at Monza, but today that wasn’t the case. I’m happy and looking forward to going to Singapore.”
“It was a pretty long race for us today. We had some damage on the rear tire after the first lap. I had to box for mediums and just went nowhere from there. Our race ended on lap one. We were then doing the whole race on one set of medium tires – the slowest – so it was never really going to be a case of us getting back in the race.”
Guenther Steiner – Team Principal:
“Sixth place and eight points is a good result. Kevin, at the beginning, had problems. He didn’t have a good start, then there were problems. Nevertheless, it was a great race for Romain and good points for Haas F1 Team. We are now tied for fourth with Renault. It’s getting interesting now. We’re really looking forward to going to Singapore and seeing what we can do there.”