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.
Hamilton went on to win the Italian Grand Prix by 8.705 seconds over polesitter Kimi Räikkönen, denying Scuderia Ferrari a win in its home race. The victory was the 68th of Hamilton’s Formula One career, his series-leading sixth this season and his fifth at Monza, equaling the record of Italian Grand Prix wins held by the legendary Michael Schumacher.
While not able to climb the top step of the podium, Räikkönen’s drive marked his milestone 100th podium finish in Formula One. He is one of just five drivers who have scored 100 or more podium finishes. Schumacher leads the way with 155, Hamilton has 128, Vettel has 107 and Alain Prost has 106. Räikkönen’s first podium finish was scored 16 years ago in the 2002 Australian Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s win, combined with Vettel’s fourth-place finish, allowed Hamilton to extend his lead in the championship standings to 30 points over Vettel, his closest pursuer.
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.