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Gene Haas "ecstatic" over Grosjean's stunning F1 results

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Gene Haas "ecstatic" over Grosjean's stunning F1 results
By:
Apr 4, 2016, 5:39 PM

Although Bahrain was several continents away, a huge applause erupted in the No. 41 Haas NASCAR team's lounge at Martinsville as Romain Grosjean crossed the finish line fifth at the Sakhir circuit on Sunday.

Stewart-Haas Racing crew watching the Formula 1 race
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-16
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-16
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-16
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team
Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1 Team VF-16
Gene Haas, Haas Automotion President
Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1 Team VF-16

"Beginner's luck," team owner Gene Haas said humbly.

Although pundits didn't anticipate that the Haas F1 Team would make a splash so early in the season, the only American entry in the Formula 1 World Championship has earned points in the first two races with Grosjean behind the wheel.

"They've done a great job, I think," Haas told Motorsport.com. "Romain, he's a heck of a driver. He got it done.

"We had a little bit of luck because [Esteban] Gutierrez has had two DNFs here, and Romain hasn't, so it's been lucky for us from that point of view."

Gutierrez was collected in a wreck by Fernando Alonso 16 laps into the season opener in Melbourne.

On Sunday, he suffered a mechanical failure in the first 10 laps. But Frenchman Grosjean has paid early dividends for the rookie organisation.

"If he keeps finishing fifth and sixth, that's a heck of a team builder," Haas said. "Everybody's ecstatic about that.

"There's so much disappointment in racing that, when you have an event that makes you feel good, it really makes a big difference to team morale."

Team owner decides to skip GP

Haas' decision to attend Martinsville Speedway - where his four Stewart-Haas Racing teams were competing in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race - and skip Bahrain was simply a case of time management.

"Bahrain was a 20-hour flight, and I didn't want to spend a day getting there and a day getting back," Haas said. "I had some other stuff I had to do in-between here, so I came to Martinsville.

"I'm going to China, because it's only a 12-hour flight. It's like these things of trying to figure out how to best allocate your time."

Overall, however, Haas introduction to F1 - and his partnership with Ferrari has been a very positive experience.

"I'm ecstatic," Haas said. "It's kind of a record-making start, but hopefully we'll do better."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain GP
Location Bahrain International Circuit
Teams Haas F1 Team
Author Lee Spencer