Grosjean Driver of the Day, Haas F1 team toward the top?

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Formula1.com gave Romain Grosjean the Driver of the Day award after votes by fans launched him to the top. A very worthy recipient by anyone’s measure although I gave the Drive of the Day on our Podcast to Nico Rosberg.

I am glad Romain and Haas F1 got their first points (6th place) in their first race and their first Driver of the Day award.  That is a real achievement for sure.

As we discussed on the Race Review Podcast, it will be interesting to see how well Haas does in the remainder of the year. As an American, I’d love to see them in the top ten for every race but realistically the team lucked into 6th via the red flag and achieved their position and reminded me very much of Sauber in last year’s Australian GP.

Will we see Haas F1 in the top ten again this year? Are you expecting top ten finishes from them consistently or do you feel that realistically they are more likely to take the battle to Sauber and should they win that battle, that’s a huge achievement as well.

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longshot

Realistically they’ll be fighting Sauber and Renault – I expect McLaren to be faster than them, and points will be a rarity. Grosjean fought hard for his 6th with a queue of cars backed up behind him, which was also a testament to the difficulty of overtaking at Melbourne (Ricciardo was the only driver who made it look easy). He got up to 6th by the simple tactic of not pitting, changing tires just once during the red flag, while the teams behind him made the mistake of going for more aggressive strategies. Can’t expect that to happen too often.

ETM

Its not like GRO jumped from 19th to 6th on the zero-stop. GRO was close behind BOT when the yellow came out. BOT pitted on lap 18 under yellow and rejoined before the red flag in 11th. If GRO had followed conventional wisdom and pitted when BOT did they would have rejoined BOT in 10th and GRO 11th. RAI DNFs and the TRs pit again and it finishes BOT 7th and GRO 8th. The zero stop only picked up 2 spots.

longshot

Well that’s making some assumptions – namely that Grosjean would hold his spot behind Bottas for the rest of the race, despite the fact that Bottas was able to pull off a nice overtake to get past Palmer, and was able to hold off the Toro Rossos. You’re basically implying that the Haas was equivalent in speed to the Williams.

Here’s another way to look at it. Pitting at Melbourne cost about 25 seconds. Add one extra pitstop to Grosjean’s time, and instead of finishing 6th at a deficit of 1:12.081, he finishes 13th behind Perez and is overlapped.

ETM

Pace – In terms of pace all GRO would only have had to do exactly what he did. Remember that no other cars even attempted a pass on the trio of GRO, HUL, BOT as they were being paced by GRO. Even if we assume that HUL and BOT would drive away that only makes GROs task of repeating the same pace easier since he would then be able to do it without defending. Passing – BOT never passed PAL after the red flag as he was already well in front of PAL before and after the crash sequence, so… Read more »

Steve Calvert

They were just as fast as those cars behind them at the finish and if they’d understood (or the FIA should have beforehand thrown it out) the qualifying system they would probably started up the grid a lot more.

Don’t count them out just because they got lucky with the red flag…

Buckeye Kenny

Hopefully they will have reliability and can consistently make it out of Q3.

runnah

They will finish 7th or 8th this year in the championship. From what I saw they easily have the pace to defeat Manor, Sauber, Renault and probably Mclaren.

ETM

I’m not so sure that luck played as big a part as you imply. When the crash occurred a lot of teams made a poor decision and rushed into the pits under yellow. Haas had the opportunity to make the same move. Instead they saw McLaren was an unrecognizable pile of rubble and were smart enough to realize that the situation was likely to create a red flag. That’s smart, not luck.

Shocks&Awe

It’s more likely, as a new team, that they were preoccupied with the accident that their man Gutierrez was a part of and made a late call… Just sayin’

ETM

They may be a new team but their race engineers Ruth Buscombe and Gary Gannon are not rookies. They are watching the in-car live. Within seconds of GUT settling into the gravel they already would have known that their driver was fine and the car had minimal damage so they could get on with their jobs.

Paul KieferJr

Honestly, I think 6th surprised even Gene Haas himself. Realistically, they should be in the midfield somewhere.

James Cox

Realistically I expect Haas to slot in the middle to upper mid field. By the end of the year I expect/hope they are competing with Force India and STR.

I think Haas strategist deserves a lot of credit. Well don to Ruth Buscombe. I told my wife on Sunday that I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferarri stole Ruth from Haas before Bahrain.

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