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2018 F1

Opponents shocked by Haas F1’s top teams-beating pace

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Haas F1 ace, Romain Grosjean riven the Red Bull duo to qualify a season best sixth place Saturday ahead of the F1 Austrian Grand Prix.

Grosjean will start Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring in fifth place, he is also benefitted a grid place promotion with Sebastian Vettel’s grid penalty, the Haas speedy beaten Daniel Ricciardo to a third-row start and just 0.052s slower than Max Verstappen.

“I am shocked,” said Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.

“From one weekend to another, we know they can be so fast, but [being] that fast is quite impressive.”

Renault F1’s Nico Hulkenberg said he had “sensed” this “super-strong” performance from Haas after Paul Ricard.

“Yesterday [in practice] that was confirmed and the gap behind was pretty big,” he added.

“We’ve done a good job of turning ourselves around quite well and recovered, but we don’t have enough to compete with them.”

Force India’s Esteban Ocon said Haas was piling the pressure on its rivals.

Asked if he was surprised by that kind of performance, Ocon replied: “Yeah, for sure.

“Grosjean is in front of a Red Bull. It says it all, eh?”

Ocon’s teammate Sergio Perez admitted Haas’s form meant his team risked losing ground during a critical spell of the season.

He said: “We have a lot of races together that will determine a lot of the championship and it’s important we don’t lose too much ground to those teams.”

Grosjean did not think the result was track-specific, although he admitted that “a little bit” was in the lack of low-speed corners that have hurt Haas at other circuits.

“It’s great,” Grosjean told Sky Sports. “We’ve built our weekend nicely. We didn’t think we could catch one of the Red Bull’s to be honest, but we did so that’s really, really good for the whole team and I’m very happy that Kevin (Magnussen) is just behind too.

“We’re in a good spot to score points with two cars and come back in the constructors’ championship so it’s a great day. I’m very happy with all of the work we’ve been doing, with how the feeling was today and obviously, looking forward to tomorrow, the race pace is strong. As long as we stay out of trouble, just get some good luck and get to the end.”

“I’m very happy,” Grosjean said. “Obviously, you want them all to go well but it’s nice to see that I’m still on my feet and still know how to drive and can produce good results and that things can go smoothly. It was just a bad spiral going on and whenever that happens it’s very hard to stop it so I’m glad we’ve done that and now I just want tomorrow to go well so we can restart on a positive and go from there.”

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