Grosjean gives new boys a great start

Banbury's Haas F1 Team celebrate Romain Grosjean's finish at the Australian Grand Prix NNL-160324-104121002
Banbury's Haas F1 Team celebrate Romain Grosjean's finish at the Australian Grand Prix NNL-160324-104121002

Nico Rosberg picked up from where he left off in 2015 to win the opening race of the new Formula 1 season.

The German driver won Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix ahead of world champion Lewis Hamilton. But, while the pair made it another one-two for Mercedes AMG Petronas, it was the debut of new boys Haas F1 which caught the eye.

The guys did an amazing job and this is like a win for all of us

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean drove to an impressive sixth place on his debut for the newly-formed Banbury team.

Grosjean said: “This feels like a win. For all the guys who worked so hard over the last few weeks, this is unbelievable.

“We didn’t have much set-up time on the car, it was a case of, go and see what happens. This is an unbelievable feeling, the guys did an amazing job and I told them, this is like a win for all of us.”

Team boss Guenther Steiner added: “Romain and the team did a great job. I said I was looking forward to the race but to finish it in the points is a dream come true.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: “It was a perfect result to start the year, a great job from the drivers to manage and recover the race, fantastic work on the pit wall to give them the right strategy to do so and an incredible team effort from everybody at the factories to get us here.”

Rosberg said: “That was a perfect race for me. We chose the perfect strategy by going on to the medium tyre after the red flag.

“We can enjoy this moment for sure but we know now just how strong those red cars will be this season, so we cannot afford to relax.”

Hamilton added: “The team did a great job to help us pull it back and there’s still 20 races to go, so I’m feeling pretty chilled. I’ve had far worse starts to the season, so I’ll take that today and head into the next one looking up.”

Jolyon Palmer came 11th for Renault F1 in his first race for the Enstone team, one place ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen.