Haas F1 Team earned another point paying result when Romain Grosjean finished tenth in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelon.
It was nearly a double-points effort for the Banbury outfit as team-mate Kevin Magnussen ran among the top ten before a cut tire on the penultimate lap forced him to pit and he finished 14th.
Winning Sunday’s race was Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes AMG Petronas. It was the Brackley driver’s second win of the season and his second at Barcelona.
Hamilton’s margin of victory was 3.490 seconds over Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The victory cut Vettel’s lead in the championship standings to six points with still 15 races remaining.
Both Haas F1 drivers made the most of the start when the typical chaos of turn one unfolded. With Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen making contact, along with Williams’ Felipe Massa and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso coming together, both drivers seized the opportunity.
Magnussen and Grosjean picked their way through the carnage to rise to eighth and tenth, respectively. After Magnussen left the grid in 11th and Grosjean in 14th, both drivers were suddenly in the top ten.
Joining them was Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jnr, who twice mounted spirited charges on Magnussen – the first on lap four and the second on lap ten – only for Magnussen to close the door each time.
Sainz remained sandwiched in ninth between eighth placed Magnussen and tenth placed Grosjean, even after Magnussen and Sainz pitted together on lap 13. Sainz made another attempt to get around Magnussen when he put his right-side tires in the grass as the duo came off the pit lane and onto the track.
With a new set of Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires on his Haas VF-17, Magnussen held steady and returned to eighth as pit stops cycled through, creating a two-second gap over Sainz by lap 26. Grosjean, meanwhile, was only a second behind Sainz in 10th after emulating Magnussen by pitting for used softs on lap 19.
The chance of a double points finish began to unravel when the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) deployed on lap 33 for Stoffel Vandoorne’s stricken McLaren in turn one. Magnussen’s advantage over Sainz was gone and after making their final pit stops, Sainz emerged ahead of Magnussen. Grosjean pitted a lap later.
When the race went back to green on lap 37, Magnussen and Grosjean were tenth and 11th, respectively. Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein, who was on a single-stop strategy, was the other driver ahead of them.
A rare mechanical problem sidelined the front-running Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas on lap 39, allowing Magnussen to climb to ninth and Grosjean to return to tenth. But Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was rising and he passed Grosjean for position on lap 43.
Then on lap 65 of the 66-lap race Kvyat made contact with Magnussen, cutting the left-rear tire on Magnussen’s VF-17. Forced to the pits to make a quick change and finish the race, Magnussen dropped to 14th and Grosjean inherited tenth, picking up a single point.