Romain Grosjean ended his first lap with a trip to the pits following a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr on the run down to turn three, with the Haas F1 Team racer being forced to change his front wing.
The pit stop also saw him swap from the Ultrasoft to the Supersoft tyre, and the Frenchman raced the remaining laps of the race on that set of tyres, completing 68 laps in total on them and securing an unlikely point after Fernando Alonso retired on the penultimate lap.
Grosjean criticised Sainz for the move that ultimately saw the Scuderia Toro Rosso spin and crash into Felipe Massa, with the Spaniard also receiving a grid penalty for the next race in Azerbaijan, but the Frenchman believed it was a dangerous manoeuvre that deserved the punishment.
“Well, our race started very badly with the front wing change on the first lap,” said Grosjean. “Then we knew the only way to get a decent strategy was to stay out and make those tyres last for 69 laps, which is pretty good for Supersofts. We got there.
“I am very unhappy with Carlos’ (Sainz) manoeuvre at the start – what he did to me going into turn three. It was very, very dangerous. I’m glad the car didn’t have too much damage. We changed the front wing and got going again.
“It was a tough race. We needed a bit of luck at the end, which we got with Alonso retiring, and we managed to get a point. It’s great for the team, but we missed a bit of speed today.”