A home event for any sportsman or sportswoman in any sport is an emotional thing.
It can be an amazing thing to cherish during a season or something to suffer through and want to forget.
Red Bull claimed a podium with Max Verstappen in Austria at their home track, while Nico Rosberg finished only fourth in Germany and Lewis Hamilton retired from the race in Malaysia in two of their home races for Mercedes.
This weekend, for the first time, Haas had the opportunity to show off what Romain Grosjean said in Australia was the ‘American Dream’ at the Circuit of the Americas.
Their weekend started off poorly. The VF-16 car was shedding pieces of carbon fiber onto the track during practice sessions, and partly because of a disrupted schedule, Romain Grosjean did not make it past the first part of qualifying.
However, the other time Grosjean failed to get past Q1 in qualifying, in Australia, he finished in the points, which is what he did at COTA.
He moved up from 17th on the grid to finish 10th and claim the final point on offer, his and the team’s first point scored since the Austrian Grand Prix at the start of July. Notably, this was the longest period they have gone without points in their F1 career so far.
Despite knowing he was able to be fortunate after the retirements of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean was delighted with his point.
“It didn’t go too badly today,” Grosjean said. “We were lucky that a few cars retired in front of us but, in the end, we needed to finish the race.
“It’s great to score a point in front of our home crowd. I’m very pleased with that and for the guys, as well. It’s been a long time since we scored. It’s obviously a great thing to be able to score points at the end of the season.”
Team Principal Guenther Steiner praised Grosjean and the team for a good plan well executed.
“Romain in the points is fantastic, especially from where we started and how we were struggling at the beginning of the weekend,” Steiner said. “Romain couldn’t race any better with the car we had, so congrats to him. The strategy, which the guys worked on overnight, was just right and it certainly paid off. The team worked hard and really pulled together.
The only negative thing around their race is Esteban Gutierrez had to retire for the fourth time in 2016, this time because of brake issues. Steiner is vowing to get to the bottom of what is becoming a common problem for the team.
“Very unfortunate race for Esteban. He was doing a good job when he experienced a brake disc failure again. We’ll be investigating what happened and see how we can move forward and sort these problems out, as they are not acceptable.”
Despite some disappointments in recent times, the team can be comfortable knowing it will likely finish ahead of three teams in the Constructors’ Championship.
Haas now have 29 points, 21 more than ninth-placed Renault and 28 more than tenth-placed Manor. They have been outscored by Toro Rosso in this race by seven points and now place 26 points behind the team with just three races to go.
Beating Renault is quite an achievement despite the French team’s struggles as they are a manufacturer with much more of a budget and resources than Haas, have an extensive history in the sport, and are expected for much bigger things in coming years.
Sauber, in 11th with no points all season, are also in struggles in 2016, but they do have good staff and experience involved. By finishing ahead of them, Haas is set to beat a team that has been the sport for since 1993.
However, the next race will also be a major one for one side of the Haas garage as Gutierrez races in his home country for the first time in Formula One having not been involved in the first Mexican Grand Prix since 1991 last year.
There would not be a better time for him to score his first points for his current team with just three races left in the 2016 season.
EMAIL CAMERON AT email@example.com
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.