F1: America’s Haas ends season on high note

Dan Beaver
NBC Sports

Haas F1 failed to overtake Renault for fourth in the 2018 constructor battle, but don’t expect them to be disappointed by the effort.

Haas scored double points for the fifth time in the season with Romain Grosjean finishing ninth and Kevin Magnussen 10th. Both drivers were one lap behind the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton at Yas Marina Circuit.

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“(Grosjean’s race) was complicated after the damage on the first lap,” Guenther Steiner said in a press release. “Obviously, there was (slight damage to) the front wing and maybe more. I’m glad Nico (Hulkenberg) was OK, though.

“The car was not easy to drive today, but I’m very happy that Kevin finished 10th today, so we both finished in the points. We’ve got such a great relationship in the team. We enjoy being together and, for the team to finish with double points, that’s great. Obviously, you always want more, and I think today more was achievable. But considering the damage to the car, I’m quite happy with where we were.”

In only its third season, Haas had their best points position in their history – ahead of the more-established McLaren, Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso and Williams. They ended the season with 93 points, almost double the 47 they banked in 2017.

“I’m very happy with the season,” Magnussen said. “It’s easy to forget how young this team is. We’re only in our third year. We set a goal this season to take a step forward, which for us would have been seventh in the championship. But we’ve scored fifth comfortably. We’ve been strong all year. We challenged the likes of Renault and Force India all the way to the end. I’m very happy with that. The year has exceeded expectations.”

Grosjean is also encouraged by the strong finish.

His ninth-place finish was the seventh time this season that he finished in the points and it came on the heels of a eighth at Brazil. In both races, he also qualified among the top 10.

“To get to the end of the season and score double points, it’s good,” Grosjean said. “It’s ninth and 10th, but we couldn’t catch anybody in the championship, anyway. It’s a good result for the team to go into the short break. We can enjoy fifth place in the championship, which I think is a big achievement for a young team. We are very happy with that. We will be coming back strong next year.”

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