Romain Grosjean finished the Belgian Grand Prix in seventh position and admitted it was somewhat of a surprise to be that high, feeling at the start of the race that he would be lucky to break into the top ten.
The Haas F1 Team driver had started eleventh at Spa-Francorchamps but admitted it was a tiring afternoon behind the wheel, and he had doubts about the potential of the VF17 after a tricky start to the weekend.
Grosjean said the plan was to try a one-stop strategy but the safety car intervention changed all that, and he switched to the Supersoft tyre, and despite his best efforts he could not get close enough to Nico Hülkenberg to fight for sixth, but seventh was a great result for the team.
“It was a hell of a race. I’m pretty tired right now,” said Grosjean. “We knew we could be somewhere close to the top-10, but we didn’t think we could be in there.
“After a few laps the car felt OK. I didn’t have a great start, but I pushed really hard. We had good degradation on the Ultrasoft. We had planned for one stop. I saw Force India going for a two stop and I thought if they don’t open up too much of a gap, it should be good.
“The safety car came out, and then I tried really hard to get the Renault ahead of me, but it was just a little bit too fast. I’m very happy with the team, very proud. After FP1 I thought it was going to be tough, but we recovered very well.
“We just need to be more consistent in that tyre window, the set-up, and being there from the beginning of a weekend.”