KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) – From Haas F1 Team: Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen classified 15th and 17th respectively at the Belgian Grand Prix, held at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Sunday.
“I don’t have a lot to say today,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “It was obviously a disappointing result but not unexpected. This is where we are right now. The only way forward is to get better.”
Grosjean started the race, which took place in cool and largely cloudy conditions, 17th on the grid, using Pirelli’s P Zero Yellow medium tires. When the Safety Car was called due to a large accident involving Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Williams’ George Russell 10 laps into the 44-lap race Grosjean boxed for the White hard tires. Grosjean kept that set of tires through to the checkered flag and battled Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, falling narrowly short of beating last year’s race winner. Grosjean classified 15th.
“We wouldn’t necessarily haven taken P15 this morning, if offered it, but what we would have taken is to be able to fight with Ferrari,” Grosjean said. “For us, that’s a benchmark, and in that aspect we did well. I thought I could keep Charles (Leclerc) behind me, but sadly on the last lap I had a bit of a lock up at turn one – anyway the tires were running out of life. It was fun in that aspect. We did the best behind Vettel and Leclerc; Alfa Romeo did a good job being in front of them.”
Magnussen also used the Yellow medium tires for the start and rocketed up the order on the opening lap, surging from 20th to 15th, making more gains than any other driver. Magnussen also boxed for hard tires when the Safety Car was deployed, and he came in again on lap 36 for a switch onto the Red soft rubber. He reached the finish line 17th.
“We needed something to help us today, weather or something, but we didn’t get any.” Magnussen said. “I had another good first lap though, I’m really happy about that. But from there we just didn’t really have the pace, especially on the first stint on the C3 tire. At the beginning of that stint I was very slow, just overheating the tires. I got that under control later on, then we pitted onto the C2 and it was a little bit like that again – just struggling a bit on the first part of the stint but getting better towards the end. I lost a position at the end when we pitted again. It’s been a tough day but there was not much we could do.”
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton cruised to the 89th victory of his career as he led home teammate Valtteri Bottas, while Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen classified third.
Haas F1 Team will be back in action for the Italian Grand Prix, to be held at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, from September 4 to 6.
David is a bureau reporter covering Salisbury, Concord, and Kannapolis and « wherever they send me. » He grew up watching WBTV and it was the only TV station he ever wanted to work for.
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