Grosjean: we came down to earth
Romain Grosjean was jolted awake from his dream start for Formula One newcomers Haas F1 by a nightmare Chinese Grand Prix.
The Frenchman, celebrating his 30th birthday on Sunday, survived first-corner contact with the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson which required a new front wing to limp home 19th of the 22 finishers.
“A bad race but half-positive,” Grosjean, who has struggled with problems all weekend, told reporters. “Today we came down to earth (to learn) that Formula One is a complicated world.
“Our performance is not exactly where we should be even though our two first races we took advantage of a lot of things and our performance was a bit higher than what we should have been capable of.”
Haas had a dream debut particularly with Grosjean. The former Lotus-driver finished sixth in the team’s first race in Australia and followed that up with a top-five result in Bahrain.
Those results have placed Haas, who entered Formula One on the back of a technical collaboration with the sport’s most successful team Ferrari, fifth in the 11-team constructors’ standings.
The other Haas driver Esteban Gutierrez finished 14th in Shanghai. The Mexican did not complete either of the opening two races of the season was pleased to make the finish on Sunday.
“It was fun out there today and to finish the races was a big step,” Gutierrez said.
“We now need to finish inside the points and that’s what we’ll be focusing on, so I’m really looking forward to the next one.”