It just gets better for the new boys

Romain Grosjean on his way fifth place in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix NNL-160704-094959002
Romain Grosjean on his way fifth place in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix NNL-160704-094959002

Haas F1 Team’s strong start to its debut season in the 2016 FIA Formula 1 World Championship continued at Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

After starting ninth, Romain Grosjean finished an impressive fifth in the 57-lap race around the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.

It’s unbelievable, I’ve never been as high as fifth in the driver standings

Romain Grosjean

It was his second point-scoring result in as many races, as the 29-year-old finished sixth two weeks ago in the season opener in Australia. The eight points earned in Melbourne combined with the ten secured in Bahrain have placed Grosjean fifth in the driver standings.

The back-to-back efforts have also placed the new Banbury team a solid fifth in the constructor standings.

The first American team to compete in Formula One in 30 years are only two points behind fourth-place Williams and seven points ahead of sixth-place Toro Rosso.

While Grosjean has enjoyed a strong start to his season, team-mate Esteban Gutiérrez had his race end prematurely for the second straight time.

The 24-year-old had charged from his 13th-place starting spot to eighth on the opening lap. But a problem with his left-front brake disc only nine laps into the race forced Gutiérrez to abandon his challenge and retire to the garage.

Grosjean said: “It is unbelievable. I said we had to manage our expectations after we finished sixth in Australia, but here we finished fifth.

“It was an aggressive strategy but managing tires has always been my strength in the past.

“Knowing we had a softer compound for this racetrack was something I liked.

“I’ve never been as high as fifth in the driver standings.”

Team boss Guenther Steiner added: “Romain did a great job, the whole team did a great job. The only downside is that Esteban didn’t complete the race.

“Our aim now for China is to get two cars to the finish and to finish in the points.”