Grosjean keeps Haas on a high

Sun Apr 3, 2016 6:03pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - After finishing sixth on his debut in Australia with the new U.S.-owned Haas Formula One team, Romain Grosjean went one better in Bahrain on Sunday to continue a 'crazy' run of success.

The Frenchman said finishing fifth under the floodlights at the Sakhir circuit was an early birthday present -- he turns 30 at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 17 -- and further proof of the wisdom of his move from Lotus.

"Some people said it was career suicide. I think they were wrong. Sorry guys," he grinned as reporters crowded around in the team's paddock hospitality and mechanics packed up.

"I made that choice because I believed in the project and I've seen enough to think that after a few years in Formula One it could be good. Today is the truth."

Grosjean moved to Ferrari-powered Haas before Renault decided to return as a constructor and take over struggling Lotus.

There were some who felt he might have been better off staying with a major manufacturer but Haas have a close partnership with Ferrari, where Kimi Raikkonen's contract expires at the end of the season.

"I said in winter testing we could score points early in the season. I was thinking that we would be fighting between 10th and 14th," said Grosjean. "Scoring so many points at the beginning, I don't think anyone was expecting that."

Grosjean is now level on points with Raikkonen, and ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after an engine problem prevented the four-time world champion from starting Sunday's race.   Continued...

Haas Formula One driver, Romain Grosjean of France drives during the second practice. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed.