Connect with us

Esteban Gutierrez

Sepang proves a frustrating endeavour for Haas F1

Published

on

Sepang proves a frustrating endeavour for Haas F1

Sepang proves a frustrating endeavour for Haas F1

The Malaysian Grand Prix Sunday at Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur proved to be a frustrating endeavor for Haas F1 Team as drivers Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean suffered double DNFs (Did Not Finish).

Gutiérrez started 13th in the 22-car field but sustained a punctured right-rear tire in the aftermath of the opening-lap skirmish between the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and championship leader Nico Rosberg. The contact spun Rosberg’s Mercedes around and sent bits of carbon fiber flying.

The tire on Gutiérrez’s Haas VF-16 was nothing but a carcass as he limped back to the garage area for service while the track was under a VSC (Virtual Safety Car) period. A used set of Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires went on and Gutiérrez returned to the 56-lap race around the 5.543-kilometer (3.444-mile), 15-turn circuit mired way back in 20th.

Grosjean, meanwhile, took advantage of the dustup between Vettel and Rosberg to pick up three positions, advancing from his 12th-place starting spot to run ninth. And when the VSC period ended, Grosjean engaged in a spirited battle with the McLaren of Fernando Alonso. Grosjean held off the two-time Formula One champion for a number of laps before Alonso passed Grosjean for ninth on lap six.

Running 10th with the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr. less than a second behind, Grosjean set his sights on holding the position and earning another point-paying finish for Haas F1 Team. On lap nine, those aspirations quickly went away.

As Grosjean applied the brakes to slow his Haas VF-16 after shooting down the long straight into the hairpin turn 15, his pedal went to the floor. The car twitched side-to-side and the wheels eventually locked, sending Grosjean off track and deep into the gravel trap. He emerged from his car unhurt but deeply unsatisfied.

Things went from bad to worse on lap 41 when Gutiérrez lost his left-front wheel on the short straight leading into turn nine. Gutiérrez deftly steered his three-wheeled Haas VF-16 to a safe area well off the racing surface. After climbing from his car, he joined his teammate back in the paddock.

At the other end of the racing spectrum was Red Bull Racing, which scored a 1-2 finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo led the way, finishing 2.443 seconds ahead of his teammate Max Verstappen. It was Ricciardo’s fourth career Formula One victory, his first of the season and his first at Sepang.

The championship fight between Mercedes teammates Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton took a drastic turn when Hamilton suffered an engine failure on lap 41. The DNF combined with Rosberg’s third-place finish gives Rosberg a 23-point advantage with only five races remaining.

Sixteen rounds into the 21-race Formula One schedule, Haas F1 Team remains eighth in the constructor standings with 28 points. The American squad maintained the 19-point gap to seventh-place Toro Rosso while ninth-place Renault cut Haas F1 Team’s margin to 20 points as Jolyon Palmer finished 10th.

The next event is the Japanese Grand Prix Oct. 9 at Suzuka Circuit.

Romain Grosjean – “There was a brake failure. We really don’t know what yet, but the pedal just went straight to the floor and I had to avoid the car in front of me. Our data didn’t suggest anything beforehand. It’s a shame. We did a really good first lap and we were looking at points running inside the top-10. Things just didn’t go very well. I was racing with Fernando (Alonso). He had power, so it was very difficult to keep him behind. I was then just trying to follow his pace. The plan was to try to keep the tires alive for quite a while. We just didn’t get to that point, though.”

Esteban Gutierrez – “Today we had a fantastic start. It was pretty good up to the first corner when, unfortunately, I got a puncture in my rear-right tire from Kevin (Magnussen) touching behind. I then had to come back to the pits. The floor was damaged and when I went back out on track I was fighting a lot, pushing to make up places, but the car wasn’t easy to drive. We had to retire after my second pit stop as we had a mechanical failure. Overall, a pretty disappointing weekend, but we have to keep our focus and keep the rhythm as we head to Japan.”

Guenther Steiner – “After we saw light at the end of the tunnel yesterday after qualifying, where I think we did a pretty good job, it got dark again today. We don’t really know yet what happened with both of the cars. One had a brake failure and the other, obviously, lost a wheel. We’ll have to see what exactly failed with the brakes on Romain’s car. We lost a wheel on Esteban’s car, but we’re not sure yet why. The pit stop seemed to be ok and he got going. We need to see if a mechanical part failed or if it wasn’t tight, but we don’t know yet. Obviously, we’re moving on to Japan. We’ll try to put ourselves in a better position again there.”

Round 17 of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship is the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit. Practice begins Oct. 7, qualifying takes place Oct. 8 and the race runs Oct. 9.

Loading...

Comments

Latest F1 News

Latest F1 News

2019 F11 month ago

Hamilton and Mercedes clearly coming under pressure – J Verstappen

Max Verstappen’s father thinks the on-form Red Bull driver has rattled reigning five time world champion and 2019 championship leader...

2019 F11 month ago

20hp engine boost for Ferrari after summer break

Toto Wolff is forecasting a “very strong” performance by Ferrari after the summer break. Marca sports newspaper reports that the...

2019 F11 month ago

I’m not ready for Formula E – Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg says he is “not ready” to contemplate a switch to Formula E. It is strongly rumoured that if...

2019 F11 month ago

BREAKING: Albon to replace Gasly from Belgian GP

Toro Rosso’s speedy Alexander Albon will replace Pierre Gasly at Red Bull from the next race in Belgium, the F1...

2019 F11 month ago

Alonso says it is not true liking Vettel

Fernando Alonso says it is not true that he doesn’t like Sebastian Vettel. In Hungary, amid rumours the retired double...

2019 F11 month ago

F1 teams balk at expensive new regulations

F1 teams are pushing back on proposed new regulations — for reasons of cost. One idea that could be scrapped...

2019 F11 month ago

McLaren targets Sainz to beat Gasly in 2019

McLaren is targeting a coveted sixth place in the 2019 drivers’ world championship with Carlos Sainz. With Mercedes, Ferrari and...

2019 F11 month ago

F1 broadcaster fails to show Sainz in Hungary

Carlos Sainz was “the invisible man” during the recent Hungarian GP. In fact, well-known Spanish journalist Antonio Lobato claims that...

2019 F11 month ago

Marko confirms Verstappen staying at Red Bull-Honda for F1 2020

Red Bull motorsport head Dr Helmut Marko has confirmed that Max Verstappen is definitely staying at Red Bull-Honda in 2020....

2019 F11 month ago

Me and Russel are eating two different dishes – Kubica

Robert Kubica is yet to benefit from what seems to have been a clear step forward for Williams and George...

Most Popular

ThisisF1.com is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

References
We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media