The first season of Haas in Formula 1 has ended with a positive balance in respect to the expectations that existed before the start of a season. The american team led by Gene Haas and directed by Günther Steiner has finished the year in eighth position in the general classification of builders ahead of Renault, Sauber and Manor, thanks to 29 points obtained by Romain Grosjean in five races.
The French rider took the top 10 overall for a good part of the season after adding 28 of his 29 points in the first nine races, but only returned to score a point in Austin in the next 12, ending the year in 13th position, well above the 21st-place without points of Esteban Gutierrez. Doing a review of what has been the season for him and his rookie team, Grosjean points: “We was all good at the beginning and then we lost the inertia a little bit… But we have had a top 5, a top 6, a seventh, an eighth and a tenth”, calling his year of “good enough” and giving a note of “eight or nine” about ten.
Grosjean has pointed to the treatment of the tires as the main cause of the ups and downs that Haas has dragged this season, and gives as example the performance of the VF-16 to a lap in Interlagos circuit:
“Initially I focused a lot on the fact that we have not developed the car this year and we focus on the following. We got lost in the way you use the tyres, but we didn’t know that we were using at the beginning, take long for us to figure out how to make them work. What Brazil shows that the car is still good as is. We were fifteenth on Friday, with a temperature in track of 50 degrees. After, (Saturday) was cold, there were some clouds, and ranked seventh”.
When asked about those aspects that Haas could improve in his second year in the elite of motorsport, Grosjean is not short: “The way we react to problems, we understand the tyres, the setup, the circuit, the requirements, the way the computer operates, the pit stops… all. It is an open book!“