Haas F1 Recap: Hungarian Grand Prix
Haas F1 Team drivers Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean finished 13th and 14th, respectively, in the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Budapest.
Grosjean started 11th and Gutiérrez 15th in the 70-lap race around the 4.381-kilometer (2.722-mile), 14-turn circuit. Each driver selected the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tire for the start, with strategy dictating two subsequent pit stops, both for brand new sets of Yellow soft tires.
Gutiérrez made the better getaway when the lights turned green, climbing from 15th to 12th at the end of the opening lap, just behind Grosjean. He leapfrogged his teammate after the first round of scheduled stops, with Grosjean slipping into the pits at the end of lap 14, followed by Gutiérrez a lap later. Running firmly in the midfield throughout much of the race, Gutiérrez enjoyed a solid run and at one stage was locked in a tight battle for 13th, mixing it up with the entries from Force India, Williams and Toro Rosso.
The second and final round of pit stops saw Grosjean come in for service on lap 37 and Gutiérrez on lap 38. Gutiérrez eventually climbed to 11th on lap 49, but a lost spot to Force India’s Sergio Perez to fall to 12th. Then after the checkered flag, Gutiérrez was assessed a five-second penalty for ignoring the blue flags as eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton lapped him, dropping him to 13th.
Grosjean, meanwhile, struggled with his car’s balance for much of the race. Nonetheless, he managed to hold the Renault of Kevin Magnussen at bay in the closing stages to claim 14th.
Eleven rounds into the 21-race Formula One schedule, Haas F1 Team remains eighth in the constructor standings with 28 points, but seventh-place McLaren put some distance on the American team, extending its advantage to 10 points courtesy of Fernando Alonso’s seventh-place effort. Ninth-place Renault finished outside the points, allowing Haas F1 Team to maintain its 22-point buffer.
Hamilton’s victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix was his fifth at the Hungaroring, making him the winningest driver at the circuit. It was also Hamilton’s 48th career Formula One victory and his fifth this season. Most importantly, the triumph placed the reigning champion into the points lead for the first time this season. Hamilton came into the Hungarian Grand Prix trailing his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by a solitary point. He leaves Hungary with a six-point advantage over Rosberg, who finished second to Hamilton by 1.977 seconds after starting from the pole.
“It was just a bad afternoon. Nothing really worked. Our strategy didn’t work, the car didn’t work. I was trying to find a balance, but I just couldn’t get it. I’m sure there’s a lot to learn from the afternoon, but it’s a disappointing outcome. I was expecting us to be in better shape. I was expecting to be able to score points after yesterday’s qualifying session.”
“It was an interesting race with some great fights from the beginning. I managed a good start and spent the first two laps fighting for position and moving up the grid. After that I was pushing the limits in every stint, not really being able to save the tires fighting in front and behind me. Toward the end I started to run out of tires and I had a few issues with the brakes. It became challenging to finish the race. However, the team did a great job to keep everything under control and I want to thank them for their hard work this weekend. They worked well and performed some great pit stops. We need to continue in this direction, improving, and getting the best out of our car as we head to Germany.”