Haas says points vindicate decision to hire experienced driver

Gene Haas says its point-scoring Formula 1 debut in the Australian Grand Prix showed why it was right to focus on experienced talent rather than a home-grown driver.

Romain Grosjean delivered a performance that earned him F1's 'Driver of the Day' in Melbourne as he helped Haas finish sixth in its first grand prix.

And on the back of Haas deliberately opting for experienced drivers, rather than a rookie American, the team's boss says his policy has been proven to be correct.

"That's why we picked Grosjean," he explained. "He has a lot of experience, and he's probably done a lot of silly things in his early career that he's learnt from.

"That's why it's a good pairing with Esteban [Gutierrez], because he's a little bit younger, and hopefully Esteban can get some of that experience just by watching what Grosjean does.

"Grosjean is really a great driver. He's never won a Formula 1 race, but we'll try to fix that this year."

Qualifying errors

The only blot on Haas's weekend in Australia was qualifying, where the team failed to capitalise on the pace of its car and was knocked out in Q1.

Haas knows, however, where the team went wrong – which means it will do all it can to ensure there is no repeat blunder in Bahrain.

"The mistake we made was when we went out for the first lap, I think both cars had a little glitch," he said.

"Grosjean locked up the rear wheels because he didn't have something set right on the regenerative braking, so that killed that first lap.

"And then Esteban had the same thing where he didn't have a switch right. So we lost that first lap, which set us behind.

"So now we have to come in, we have to put a new set of tyres on, and then get back out before we lose our 90-second window. And by the time we got back out, I think both of the cars were just outside the window.

"We had a good lap going, but the old timer expired and those laps didn't count. So we had to remain with the first lap, and neither one of them was great."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean
Teams Haas F1 Team
Article type Breaking news