For the first time in 2016, Romain Grosjean made it through to the top ten shootout of qualifying, and the Haas F1 Team driver will start the Japanese Grand Prix from eighth on the grid.
The Frenchman set an identical time to that of Sergio Perez, but whereas the Mexican profits from Sebastian Vettel’s penalty, Grosjean will remain in eighth place, but it is his best qualifying performance of the season despite an issue with his Drag Reduction System on his final flying lap.
Grosjean believes the team are in a good position for points on Sunday, especially with team-mate Esteban Gutierrez also making it into Q3 during qualifying.
“I feel pretty good after that and I’m very pleased for the whole team,” reflected Grosjean. “We brought all the updates we had. We made the new front wing work on the car and that made a difference in qualifying.
“The whole session went very smoothly. I didn’t get my DRS on the last stretch of the final corner. But, we’re here and tomorrow’s a long race at a very difficult track.
“Tyre degradation will be very important. Hopefully, if the balance is as good tomorrow as it was today, we should be fine.”