Photo: Haas F1 Team

Grosjean, Magnussen Lead Haas F1 to Banner Day at Suzuka

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

There is a lot to be proud of at Haas F1 Team as both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean put in a stout effort in the Japanese Grand Prix as the team scored double-points for just the second time in their short Formula One history.

Magnussen’s day started from 12th and drove a masterful race and capped it off with a tough wheel-to-wheel battle with Williams’ Felipe Massa in Turn 1 on Lap 42 en route to an eight-place finish. The aggressive move also opened the door for Grosjean to follow his teammate through to capture ninth-place from 13th on the grid.

Trailing by five points coming into the weekend to Renault in the constructors standings, the pair of positive results has put Haas ahead of the French outfit by one point and sole ownership of seventh with four rounds to go.

Collectively, the only other double points finish the team enjoyed came earlier in the year at the Monaco Grand Prix with Grosjean eighth and Magnussen 10th.

The result was a sense of relief for Magnussen, who scored his best result since his seventh-place the European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan, eight rounds ago.

“I enjoyed my race,” said Magnussen, 25.

“We maximized our potential as a team getting P8 and P9 and scoring points. I don’t think we could’ve hoped for better, so I’m happy for us. I feel I’ve had some good races lately, but just haven’t had that bit of luck that I needed to get the points.

“Today, it worked out. Hopefully, I can keep this going and score more points over the last bit of the season. Results like today are definitely not easy to get. You need to get everything right, and I think we did today, so well done to the team.”

It was the perfect medicine for Grosjean as the Frenchman crashed his Haas VF-17 in the opening round of qualifying at Suzuka on Saturday, only to put in his eighth scoring effort of the 2017 season in a day later.

“It’s our second double-score for the team, so that’s pretty awesome,” said Grosjean, 31.

“I’m very happy for the team. I knew yesterday I had some great pace in the car. I couldn’t show it as I was always behind Kevin all race long, but I had much more pace in the car.

“I wish I could’ve been ahead. I think I could’ve fought with the Force Indias, so that’s pretty good. We figured out how to get the tires to work a little bit better. It’s clearly the key. When they work, it’s so much faster. When they don’t, you just struggle. We still need to improve that, but I felt much better in the car. I was happy with the brakes, everything went well.

Overall, it is positive momentum as the team prepares for its home race in two weeks with the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas.

“It’s going to be great heading to Austin now for our second race there,” said Grosjean, who finished 10th at the Austin-based circuit last year.

“It’s such a cool track.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the fans welcoming us and, hopefully, getting some more points there, as well.”

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Joey Barnes is the Founder of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.