Esteban Gutierrez finally completed a race distance in the Chinese Grand Prix but his progress was hampered by a DRS failure.
Having had a year on the sidelines at Ferrari, Gutierrez joined Haas this season but suffered from reliability problems in the second pre-season test and throughout the first two races. Having failed to reach the chequered flag in either Australia or Bahrain, Gutierrez completed just six laps during Friday practice in China but managed to finish 14th in the race.
After such little practice running, Gutierrez praised Haas for the car it gave him and says there are plenty of positives to take out of the race even though a DRS failure just before the halfway point made overtaking extremely difficult.
“It’s fantastic, it’s quite a nice feeling to do a full race," Gutierrez said. "Actually I was quite happy with the balance, I was obviously managing everything, the front tyres were very critical and very sensitive and everything: procedures, tyre management, car balance was pretty good considering we didn’t have any time to set up the car or to get any reference.
"It was a big risk to make certain decisions, we took some a bit blind but it seems that it was pretty spot on. Yeah in general I lost the DRS and we were a bit limited in terms of our strategy because we had quite an aggressive strategy and trying to overtake Nico Hulkenberg, I was obviously not able to do it without DRS. They were pretty strong on the straights and then I fell behind Nico Rosberg."
Despite his DRS deficit, Gutierrez takes heart from the fact the problem occurred in a race where he was unlikely to score.
"I don’t think we had the car to finish in the points as the race went from starting from where we started but I think the race was pretty solid and considering all of the cars finished, I don’t remember the last race when every car finished. Yeah it was a solid race and we will build up from this to the next events.”