Grosjean's race 'complicated' by first lap run-in with Hulkenberg


Romain Grosjean's race could have been over on the opening lap but the Haas driver managed to salvage a top-ten finish despite the early chaos and damage.

The French drive was involved in a wheel-to-wheel tussle with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg on the opening lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with terminal consequences for the German after the pair collided on the entry to Turn 9.

Grosjean miraculously survived the encounter however, albeit with a bit of front-end damage to his VF-18 that complicated his task for the remaining 54 laps.

"It was complicated after the damage on the first lap," he admitted.

"Obviously, there was (slight damage to) the front wing and maybe more. I’m glad Nico was OK, though."

Pit stop rotations sent Grosjean down the order before he gradually worked his way back up and into the points, followed by team mate Kevin Magnussen, the pair delivering to Haas its fifth double points result of the season.

"The car was not easy to drive today, but I’m very happy that Kevin finished 10th today, so we both finished in the points. We’ve got such a great relationship in the team," he said.

"We enjoy being together and, for the team to finish with double points, that’s great.

"Obviously, you always want more, and I think today more was achievable. But considering the damage to the car, I’m quite happy with where we were."

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner also highlighted the US outfit's satisfactory end to a satisfactory third campaign in F1.

"To get to the end of the season and score double points, it’s good," said Steiner.

"It’s ninth and 10th, but we couldn’t catch anybody in the championship, anyway. It’s a good result for the team to go into the short break.

"We can enjoy fifth place in the championship, which I think is a big achievement for a young team. We are very happy with that. We will be coming back strong next year."

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