Grosjean Finishes 11th, Gutiérrez 13th in Italian Grand Prix

Haas F1 Team just missed a point-scoring result in the Italian Grand Prix Sunday at Autodromo Nazionale Monza with drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez finishing 11th and 13th, respectively.

Grosjean overcame a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change that turned his 12th-place qualifying effort into a 17th-place starting spot. Despite the setback, Grosjean made the most of his start, rallying to 13th after the first lap around the 5.793-kilometer (3.6-mile), 11-turn circuit. He then passed the Manor of Pascal Wehrlein on lap two to take 12th. From there, Grosjean settled in for a long haul, at least by Formula One standards. He was the last driver to pit, going 28 laps before swapping the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires he used to start the race for a set of Red supersofts. Grosjean then managed those tires for the next 25 laps, with his one-stop strategy allowing him to finish 11th even while holding off the surging McLaren of Jenson Button in the closing laps.

Gutiérrez began the 53-lap race in 10th place thanks to a strong qualifying performance on Saturday. It was rendered moot, however, when a slow start saw the field zoom around him, dropping him all the way to 20th. Gutiérrez recovered a bit to climb to 18th by lap seven. He made his first pit stop at the end of lap 16, changing from the Red supersofts he first used in qualifying to a new set of Yellow softs. By lap 24, Gutiérrez had climbed to 15th. He made his second and final stop at the end of lap 34, grabbing a used set of Red supersofts that helped him finish 13th and keep the 14th-place McLaren of Fernando Alonso at bay.

Fourteen rounds into the 21-race Formula One schedule, Haas F1 Team remains eighth in the constructor standings with 28 points. There was no movement on either side of the American squad, as seventh-place Toro Rosso and ninth-place Renault failed to score points in the Italian Grand Prix. Toro Rosso’s margin over Haas F1 Team is 17 points and Renault is 22 points back.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won the Italian Grand Prix by a stout 15.070 seconds over his teammate Lewis Hamilton, further tightening the championship battle. Rosberg’s second straight victory lopped seven points from Hamilton’s advantage, thinning the margin to just two points. The victory was Rosberg’s 21st career Formula One victory, his seventh of the season and his first at Monza.

Joining the Mercedes duo on the podium was Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. His teammate, Kimi Räikkönen, finished fourth. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top-five.

Seven races remain on the 2016 Formula One schedule, with the next event coming in two weeks with the Singapore Grand Prix Sept. 18 at Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Romain Grosjean, Driver No. 8, Haas F1 Team

“To be fair, I think we were just lacking a little bit of speed in the race to make the points. We tried a very aggressive one-stop strategy. I had a bit of graining on the softs in the first stint through those last few laps. That cost us a few seconds, but I don’t think I could have gotten the 12 seconds needed to get to P10 in the end. That was about the maximum today. We just need to learn what we can do better for the next race. I’m now looking ahead to Singapore. It’s one of the best races of the season.”

Esteban Gutiérrez, Driver No. 21, Haas F1 Team

“It was a very disappointing start to the race losing a lot of positions. It was very tough to recover, but I did my best. I struggled in the first stint with the overall pace, starting with the scrubbed tires from qualifying and fighting with people which were on new tires. It wasn’t very easy, but we kept ourselves together and pushed really hard to recover everything we could, but what we lost in the beginning was too much to get back to where we started. Now we’ll look ahead to Singapore and we’ll be focusing on that to come back stronger.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team

“Here we go again with an 11th- and a 13th-place finish. I think once we got going, it was a pretty good race. If you take off the first 20 seconds of it, we could have been in a different position with Esteban. He missed the start, and that put him back, but he recovered to finish 13th. Romain came from 17th to 11th with a good strategy and good driving and, overall, it was a good effort. Unfortunately, none of the big boys dropped out, so we ended up 11th again. We showed that we have some speed at this kind of track. Hopefully, we can bring that forward to some of the upcoming tracks we visit. Being ahead and fighting with McLaren is something we can be proud of. McLaren is a team that’s been around a long time, and we’re the newcomers. Fighting with them and racing with drivers of the caliber of Button and Alonso makes us proud. But, we still haven’t got any points from today.”

Next Up

Round 15 of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship is the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit. Practice begins Sept. 16, qualifying takes place Sept. 17 and the race runs Sept. 18.

This article contains: Italian Grand Prix