Grosjean and Gutiérrez see their progress hampered

Romain Grosjean in action during Sunday's European Grand Prix
Romain Grosjean in action during Sunday's European Grand Prix

Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez endured a frustrating European Grand Prix on Sunday.

Grosjean and Gutiérrez finished 13th and 16th respectively at the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan for the Banbury team.

We did our best but we’re still not where we want to be

Romain Grosjean

Grosjean started 11th and Gutiérrez started 15th. Both drivers started the 51-lap race on the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tire, with the plan to make only one pit stop.

That plan quickly changed for Gutiérrez when contact with the Force India of Nico Hülkenberg on the opening lap sent him to the pits on lap eight with a damaged front wing.

A second pit stop at the end of lap 29 for a used set of Red supersofts carried Gutiérrez to the end of the race before he was lapped by eventual race winner Nico Rosberg on lap 32.

Grosjean climbed as high as eighth by lap ten before pitting for a new set of Yellow softs. As pit stops cycled through, Grosjean rose from 17th to 12th by lap 25.

But Grosjean had to make a second pit stop due to a build-up of debris picked up in the car’s radiator intake ducts. With the risk of engine overheating prevalent, Grosjean had no choice but to stop, thwarting any shot at a point-paying finish.

Eight rounds into the 21-race Formula One schedule, the Banbury team remains eighth in the constructor standings with 22 points. There was no change on either side of the American team, as McLaren and Renault both failed to score points.

Team boss Guenther Steiner said: “Esteban had contact with [Nico] Hülkenberg and lost part of the front wing and a piece of the floor. That resulted in us having to call him in to change the wing and that ruined his race.

“Romain was going well. We would’ve liked to have him stay out longer on the first set of tyres.

“But once we changed them it was looking good until he had to come in again, this time for the radiators to be cleaned out as we collected some debris.

“His race pace was good but we couldn’t risk having the engine overheating.”

Grosjean said: “We had too much rubbish at the front of the radiators and we had to stop again to clean them, that extra stop cost us a lot of performance.

“We did our best but we’re still not where we want to be.”

Gutiérrez added: “I had some damage to the car at the start and after that I was just trying to recover as much as I could.

“I was struggling to overtake and to regain positions.”