Romain Grosjean described the result for Haas in the Austrian Grand Prix as “incredible” after the team finished with both cars in the top five.
Haas has started the season with a competitive car but has missed a number of opportunities to score significant points, most notably in Melbourne where both drivers retired after pit stop errors when running in the top six. On its 50th race weekend, Haas finally capitalized on its pace as Grosjean came home fourth — his first points of the season — and teammate Kevin Magnussen fifth.
“The car’s been quick since the first day on pretty much every circuit, apart from Monaco,” Grosjean said. “So it’s a really, really good step from the past. The team is getting better and better. For our 50th race to finish fourth and fifth is incredible.
“With all the punches I’ve received, it feels good — standing on my feet all the time was good, and I’m pretty proud of being here today. We knew that we could do it together.”
Team principal Guenther Steiner was full of praise for his team but admits the retirements of Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo boosted its overall return.
“Everybody realized the potential the car has got, we just didn’t turn it into enough points,” Steiner said. “We had some points but we didn’t make enough. This time, we scored. We were lucky this time, by two or three dropping out in front of us, so to finish fourth and fifth.
“In the end, the car showed it was the best of the rest today, dominating that position. Everyone slowed down a bit at the end with the tires; everyone was getting scared having a problem with it. Everybody executed the whole weekend, we didn’t have issues.
“This was a good weekend, not just a good race or a lucky race. Good execution and the luck was the three in front of us went out. Otherwise we would have been seventh and eighth.”
The 22 points scored at the Red Bull Ring moves Haas ahead of McLaren and up to fifth in the constructors’ championship, 13 points behind Renault in fourth.