Gene Haas acknowledges Romain Grosjean’s 29 points saved his team from a “world of hurt” in its rookie Formula One season.
Haas experienced a mixed debut season which started with sixth and fifth place finishes in Australia and Bahrain. However, the realities of Formula One were hard to digest for the American outfit. Grosjean scored points in three more events, although the team’s form declined significantly as the year progressed.
Considering the front wing and brake issues faced at the end of 2016, Haas believes Grosjean was “worth every penny” when signed from Lotus last year. Moreover, for what Grosjean achieved when points were possible.
In an interview with ESPN, Haas said “I tell you, if it weren’t for those 29 points we would have been in a world of hurt. So that in itself, just scoring those points, was worth every penny. I’m disappointed we couldn’t keep that same rate as we could have got 100 points by season’s end. However, I’m very happy with what we got”.
Kevin Magnussen will join Grosjean at Haas next season, who is coming from Renault to replace the outgoing Esteban Gutierrez. With Gutierrez failing to score a single point this season, Haas thinks Magnussen will provide a more competitive teammate to Grosjean in 2017.
Haas thinks Kevin brings a racer’s perspective to the team and is good at getting points when one need to, which according to him is tough to do.
“You can be extremely fast in qualifying and individual laps, but racing on race day is an another discipline. There are some people who are really great at it” Haas added.
“We were talking to Kevin even before Grosjean [in 2015], we knew that he had a lot of potentials. I’ve watched him drive around a lot of circuits and watched him in traffic, and I think he has the ability to grab points when we need to, and that’s what we need”.