Grosjean thrilled as Haas score points on debut
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Haas driver Romain Grosjean celebrated wildly as he savored a 'winning' feeling at Sunday's Australian Grand Prix with his sixth-place finish ensuring the U.S.-owned team scored eight points on their Formula One debut.
Pre-race, team principal Guenther Steiner said the stars would have to align perfectly for the series' first American team in 30 years to finish in the top 10 point-scorers.
It seemed fortune was against them when Esteban Gutierrez was taken out early in a high-speed collision with Fernando Alonso that wrecked the Spaniard's McLaren and halted the race.
But the red flag brought a mandatory pit-stop and the team's choice of medium compound tires paid off as Grosjean rode them to the finish while holding off a challenge from Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.
"Guys listen to me: this is a win for us, this is a win," an emotional Grosjean said on the team radio after finishing.
"Welcome to Formula One, Gene (Haas, the team owner). This is the day -- this is history guys!
"It feels like standing on the top step of the podium for us," the former Lotus driver, who started 19th on the grid after a disappointing qualifying, later told Sky Sports.
"It's been an amazing race, an amazing weekend. Australia has never been nice to me so finally a change of color and it worked. Continued...