Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean finished 12th while Kevin Magnussen was forced into retirement at the Tuscan Grand Prix, held on Sunday at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.
Grosjean started 15th on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires but was caught up in an accident with Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly on the opening lap - causing the deployment of the safety car. Grosjean successfully managed to extricate himself from the gravel trap and pitted for repairs, taking on medium tires once more, and held 16th place at the restart. A multi-car pile-up along the start-finish straight eliminated several competitors and forced the suspension of the race on lap 9, with race direction opting to carry out a standing restart on the grid.
Grosjean took the restart from 13th place on Red soft tires before boxing on lap 30 for the White hard compound. A hefty accident for Lance Stroll caused a second suspension to the race on lap 44 and Grosjean resumed 12th on soft rubber. A strong getaway propelled Grosjean up to ninth but he was unable to keep faster cars at bay and met the checkered flag 12th after 59 laps.
Magnussen started 20th on a set of softs and picked his way through the first-lap chaos to elevate himself into 12th position. As the field began to prepare for the restart the concertina effect caused several drivers to check-up along the pit straight. Magnussen was an unfortunate victim of the situation and his VF-20 sustained terminal damage in an accident that also claimed Carlos Sainz, Antonio Giovinazzi and Nicholas Latifi. Magnussen was able to walk away uninjured from the scene.
Haas F1 Team maintains ninth in the Constructors' Championship with one point.
Romain Grosjean: "It's one of the strengths of Haas - we never give up. I had a big hit at turn two on the first lap. The car was switched off, I was ready to retire, then I saw I had two wheels on the grass so I restarted the engine to see if I could get out of the gravel. I was able to get going and the suspension was ok, so we thought - let's keep going. At the first red flag I saw the state of the car, I didn't know how we were going to keep racing, half of the left-hand side was missing. The guys said to hang in and we did our best. The last restart was fun, I managed to get up the order a bit. But when you're missing about two seconds a lap, which we had calculated in aero damage, there's not much you can do. That said, I'm very happy that we didn't give up. Nobody can take that from us."
Kevin Magnussen: "What seemed to happen at the restart was that the leader was going slow all the way to the line, which he's entitled to do, but then somewhere in the middle - between me and the front, somebody decided to go. I guess somebody maybe tried to open a gap to get some momentum, but they went too early and tried to stop again. The guy in front of me started to go, we were flat out for a few seconds, then suddenly they all braked. I braked, I saw people coming past, then I was hit by Giovinazzi - who had nowhere to go. This is certainly something to take a look at - in terms of whether or not this thing about overtaking until the line is a good idea or not. Maybe it's a good idea to have it somewhere earlier on the straight. We can't have this happen again. I'd got up to P12 from P20 on the first lap, it had been looking good. This is definitely another missed opportunity."
Guenther Steiner: "It was an exciting race again. I think we create a lot of the excitement, but in the wrong way. We're always part of why it gets exciting - which after a while gets old. We ended up in positions where we shouldn't be ending up. When you're on your back foot it normally takes a long time to get out. It was a challenging weekend. After three race weekends in a row, everybody's happy to be going home. My thanks go to all our guys. We've had a lot of controversy over these three weekends, but they've worked hard and kept their heads high. I want to thank them for that. Now we'll see everyone again in Sochi next."
Check out our Sunday gallery from Mugello, here.