Haas F1 Team drivers Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean finished 13th and 14th, respectively, in the Canadian Grand Prix Sunday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
Both went into the 70-lap race around the 4.361-kilometer (2.710-mile), 14-turn circuit ready for a one-stop strategy, but the team was also ready to adapt and move to a two-stop strategy if circumstances warranted. Turns out, they did.
Each driver picked up a position before the race even began, as Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kyvat, who qualified 13th on Saturday in front of Gutiérrez and Grosjean, served a three-place grid penalty stemming from the previous Monaco Grand Prix. With Kyvat dropping to 16th, Gutiérrez and Grosjean moved up to 13th and 14th, respectively.
From the drop of the green flag, grip was at a premium throughout the Canadian Grand Prix, as the air temperature was a consistent and cool 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit). Both Gutiérrez and Grosjean started the race on the Pirelli P Zero Purple ultrasoft tire with the intent to go 19 laps before pitting for a new set of Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires that would take them to the finish. But after judging lap times and tire wear as the race came upon lap 10, it became clear a two-stop strategy was necessary.
Gutiérrez was first in on lap 13, followed by Grosjean on lap 17. Both drivers hung right outside the top-10 until their second round of pit stops. Grosjean opened the second round, pitting on lap 39 for a used set of Purple ultrasofts. Gutiérrez did the same on lap 41. After all of the pit stops had cycled through, Grosjean was 13th and Gutiérrez was 14th.
Grosjean, however, had to pit one final time on lap 46 due to a broken front wing, which finally succumbed to damage sustained on the opening lap. With a new nose and another set of used ultrasofts, Grosjean returned to the race, one spot behind his teammate in 14th. Twenty-four laps later, the checkered flag dropped, with Gutiérrez and Grosjean in the same spots, 13th and 14th, respectively.
After seven of 21 races, Haas F1 Team remains eighth in the constructor standings with 22 points, two points behind seventh-place McLaren and 16 points ahead of ninth-place Renault.
Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver started from the pole and used a one-stop strategy to score his 45th career Formula One victory, his second of the season and his fifth at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished in the runner-up spot, 5.011 seconds behind Hamilton.
Romain Grosjean, Driver No. 8, Haas F1 Team
“We’re not far from the points. I was up to P11 or so, trying to fight hard and doing everything I could, and then the front wing went. That third pit stop definitely cost us everything we had been working for. We need to look more deeply into that issue to get it sorted. There are plenty of other areas where we can improve but, generally, the more we do, the more we understand the car and the better things get. Flying to Canada and not scoring any points is difficult. I’m sure the next race will be another step, and if we learn more, the better we’ll get.”
Esteban Gutiérrez, Driver No. 21, Haas F1 Team
“It wasn’t an easy race. I was struggling a lot to get the tires to work and then at the end of every stint it was difficult to keep the temperature in them, and once you start losing that the car starts to slide and it’s like driving on ice. This weekend we knew it was going to be very tough with the cool weather, but now we need to analyze how we can compensate and try to put more emphasis into the tires to make them work to give us an easier race. I didn’t enjoy it too much as I’m not feeling very well, but the weekend is now over and I’m looking forward to Baku.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team
“It was a little bit of a disappointing race for us. However, we finished with two cars, so that’s certainly a positive. We tried hard and had a few challenges and ended up 13th and 14th. Some races things just don’t go as smoothly as you’d hope they would. We struggled with tire management. We had to come in and change them, and then we ended up changing them again. We also had a problem with the front wing on Romain’s car near the start. However, we’re now focusing on the race next weekend at Baku.”