Romain Grosjean registered his first points of his season with a stellar ninth place finish at the Nürburgring on Sunday.
After qualifying on Saturday, Grosjean stated that ‘the unexpected’ will help and it certainly did. He started towards the back end of the grid in sixteenth place and only went backwards at the start, finding himself dead last. Kimi Räikkonen went into the gravel and in a weird turn of events, a piece of gravel hit Grosjean’s finger at speed, with him fearing it was broken for the duration of the race. Luckily, he confirmed it was okay after the race.
Grosjean was one of the few drivers left at the end on a one stop strategy and decided not to stop again during a Safety Car caused by a Lando Norris retirement. But it all worked out to his advantage as he held on to his points and finished ninth.
Grosjean said: “It feels good – finally. We’ve been doing a good job in the last few races but things haven’t gone our way. I said yesterday that the unexpected was the best we could get. Obviously, we did a different strategy on tires – it was very difficult at the beginning. For us, we have to take risks, if we follow regular strategy we don’t have the raw pace to be up there sadly.
“We managed to hold on though and go for one stop in the race. It wasn’t really good news for me when the safety car came, but we managed to get some temperature back into the tires and hold on to P9. That was good news. It was a question of time before we got a good result, but I’ve known we’ve been doing a good job.”
Kevin Magnussen’s race wasn’t so positive as he didn’t really capitalise on the retirements of the race. He was only able to gain two places to finish thirteenth. This now mean that Grosjean has over taken him in the Drivers Standings.
“Today was one of those races that gave some opportunities, so missing out on that was disappointing. We were on the wrong strategy, but there was no way to know that before the race,” said Magnussen.
“We chose the strategy that we thought was going to give us the best chance – but then the race just didn’t really come our way. I had some early front wing damage as well, so all-in-all it just really wasn’t my day – that’s racing.”
Team Principal Guenther Steiner was happy the team could come away with some points after spending majority of the season out of them. He is conscious that luck could have be on their side with the amount of cars that dropped out but is ultimately happy the team took the opportunities they had.
Steiner said: “It was a happy day today for us. We come away with some points – which is fantastic for the team as they work hard, everybody did a good job. I don’t know if it’s because we had no Friday practice, maybe it made it a more level playing field.
“Obviously, we got a little bit lucky as a few cars dropped out at the front, I’m conscious of that, but in the end we took the opportunity. It’s a good feeling again to come away with points. Hopefully we can have more of that this year – we’ll keep trying hard for it.”