Formula One

Haas-atisfaction at Bahrain GP Grosjean Fifth

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Using an aggressive tire strategy, Romain Grosjean finished fifth in Bahrain, following up on a sixth in the HaasF1 team’s debut in Australia.

The Frenchman described it as “an American dream,” slapping himself in the face to make sure it was real.

Team principal Guenther Steiner admitted he didn’t predict such good results so early in the team’s inaugural campaign.

“We didn’t expect fifth,” Steiner told reporters. “I always said we could end up in the points if we do a good job. That’s what we were working for but to end up with fifth is pretty good.

“We were quite clear because we started with this strategy already in qualifying. Everybody saw it, we didn’t go out any more on Q2 to try to go into Q3. We didn’t want to get into Q3 because we wanted to keep the super-soft tires for the race. So, it was absolutely planned like this.”

A Pirelli infographic revealed that the HaasF1 plan was the most one of the most aggressive, with three stints on super softs and one stint on soft tires. Only Kevin Magnussen, who started on softs and finished 11th with three stints on super softs, utilized a more aggressive strategy.

“We have had two unbelievable races but we have to keep our feet on earth,” Grosjean told Sky TV after the race. “There’s some more work we can do but this is crazy, this is nice.”

Like the season opener in Melbourne (without a scary crash) it was a half-a-loaf team result with Esteban Gutierrez failing to finish due to a possible brake problem.

EMAIL LEWIS AT lewis.franck@popularspeed.com


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Lewis Franck

In a career spanning over thirty years, Lewis Franck, a former New York attorney, has covered motorsports first as a photographer working for magazines such as Sport Magazine and magazines in Europe. Subsequently switching to writing Franck had a monthly column in Inside Sports, and later worked regularly for Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine. He's been a weekly columnist for Sports Illustrated's website and blogs and moderated chats at ESPN.com. Currently, he's a motorsports contributor at Reuters and Autoweek. And now a guest host on SiriusXM/NASCAR and guest PRN's Pit Reporters. An award-winning journalist; he’s written thousands of articles for magazines, newspapers and websites around the world. He’s also currently a US-based motorsports writer for Reuters newswire. In addition to published work, he’s been the color commentator, in Australia, for the local television broadcast of the Surfers Paradise Indy car race. Franck has appeared on the NBC Nightly News, television panel shows and dozens of radio appearances. He’s also a past Eastern Vice President of the American Auto Racing Writer’s and Broadcasters Association. In addition, he handled public relations for the Driver of the Year Award.

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