Rich Energy Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen brought home finishes of 11th and 13th, respectively, in the Chinese Grand Prix Sunday at Shanghai International Circuit, the third round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship and the 1,000th grand prix in Formula One history.
Grosjean, who started from the 10th grid position, chased Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon for the 10th and final points-paying position over the closing laps around the 5.451-kilometer (3.387-mile), 16-turn track but fell 1.020 seconds short at the checkered flag. He made his second and final pit stop 20 laps from the finish to take a fresh set of Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires in place of the White hard compound he used for the middle portion of the 56-lap race. Albon and the three finishers ahead of him all completed the race on just one stop.
Magnussen, who like Grosjean started the race on Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires, struggled to maintain pace in the early going from his ninth starting position, falling back to 12th before pitting on lap 10 for a set of hards. He resumed in 17th and worked his way up to as high as 11th before pitting for a set of mediums on lap 35 that would take him the rest of the way. He settled into the 12th position by lap 46 and dropped a spot just before the finish.
Today’s results dropped the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team on position to sixth in the constructors’ standings, tied with McLaren with eight points each, four points behind Renault and Alfa Romeo who are tied for fourth, and one point ahead of eighth-place Racing Point.
Lewis Hamilton led a 1-2 finish by Mercedes, winning the Chinese Grand Prix by 6.552 seconds over his teammate Valtteri Bottas. Rounding out the podium was third-place Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari.
The 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship resumes with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix April 28 at Baku City Circuit.
“I was a bit worried, to be fair, before the start as our race pace hasn’t been amazing all weekend. The car’s amazing over one lap, but as soon as we go two laps on the tires, we’re not there anymore. We need to understand exactly what happened. I think without the blue flags at the end we’d have scored a point. Alex (Albon) did a great job defending well and not making any mistakes. Congratulations to him. It’s so annoying to give it all, push hard, and just not get the chance to score points.”
“I didn’t have the pace today, so we need to work on the race pace. Qualifying’s been good all year, so-far, we just need to sort out the race pace – it’s the most important one to be good at. There’s some work to do. I don’t really understand it at the moment, we all need to understand it. It’s not easy. It’s frustrating that we see we’ve got a good car, that can qualify well, then we can’t convert that into race pace.”
“Not the race we’d have hoped for. It seems that we had a very similar problem to what we had in Bahrain. It was déjà vu. So, we need to look into it, and work hard to get this issue sorted. We move on to the next one.”