After celebrating his 30th birthday earlier in the day, Romain Grosjean started 14th and was on the same tire strategy as his teammate.
That strategy, however, endured a hiccup when a first-turn skirmish on the opening lap sent Grosjean to the pits for a new front wing. A stack-up involving a number of cars saw the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson cut across the nose of Grosjean’s VF-16. Grosjean was forced to the pits for an unscheduled stop after only one lap, with valuable time needed to attach the new wing.
Despite returning to the race in 21st, Grosjean employed the same tenaciousness that earned him back-to-back top-six finishes to open the season. He gained back two positions to cross the stripe in 19th when the checkered flag waved.
“It was a horrific race.” Romain Grosjean said. “The start was terrible when (Marcus) Ericsson turned into me and got my front wing. From there we had the safety car and I thought, ‘OK, we still have a chance to do something.’ But the balance in the car was nowhere near good. I don’t know what happened. Somehow, it’s positive that we had such a difficult race, because we can analyze what we did wrong, what we did right and what we could have done differently. From there, we can come back stronger. It’s a difficult one after the two first races. Not the birthday I was hoping for.”
Laps completed: 55/56
Started 14th, Finished 19th