Haas: Grosjean 'drove his heart out'

By on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team

Gene Haas has praised Romain Grosjean's drive at last weekend's Australian Grand Prix as the Frenchman collected sixth place to give the team points on its Formula 1 debut.

Grosjean, who had only once finished in the top six since 2013, started from the penultimate row of the grid but moved up the order, aided by the race being stopped following the collision between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez.

Having restarted in ninth position, Grosjean preserved a set of Medium tyres across the remaining 39 laps and crossed the line in sixth place.

"Grosjean had a heck of a challenge there," said Haas. "They made the decision to go on the Mediums for 39 laps, so that was really pushing it.

"He basically didn’t chew up his tyres initially, so he was able to get 39 laps out of them.

"I think near the end he was starting to pick up time on the person behind him. Tyre strategy, saving your tyres, those are the kinds of things that make a driver a legend."

Haas added that Grosjean's pace towards the end, when he was able to edge away from Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, was encouraging for the team.

"Grosjean just drove his heart out and did everything he could to keep it up there and it worked out," he said.

"When Hulkenberg was behind him I thought he might catch him, but he held him off and we actually started to make some time.

"He was saving fuel near the end, so I think once we got to the last few laps and we started to push a little harder, the car really responded."

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