Romain Grosjean got a great jump in the 44-lap race around the 7.004-kilometer (4.352-mile), 19-turn circuit. After starting 11th he avoided the chaos of the first turn of the opening lap by diving low through La Source to climb to fifth. He was passed by Force India’s Sergio Perez on lap four but quickly settled into sixth place.
When the safety car was deployed on lap six for Kevin Magnussen’s massive shunt at the top of Eau Rouge, Grosjean seized the opportunity to pit, swapping the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires he started the race for a new set of Yellow softs. Following the pit stops, Grosjean was 10th.
But as repair work on the wall where Magnussen hit became more involved, the red flag was displayed, and this circumstance compromised the team’s strategy.
The red-flag stoppage allowed the drivers who didn’t pit a free pit stop, as they were able to change tires on pit lane. This was incredibly advantageous for them, as no track position was lost. The positions they gained by staying out prior to the red flag were kept and the positions Grosjean picked up on the racetrack were greatly marginalized.
At the race’s halfway mark, Grosjean was 12th. The French driver pitted for a new set of Pirelli P Zero White medium tires on lap 23. With pit stops having cycled through by lap 26, Grosjean was 15th.
With seven laps remaining, Romain Grosjean was running 13th.
As the laps wound down, Grosjean was able to cut into Gutiérrez’s advantage, but time ran out and the checkered flag waved, leaving the duo 12th and 13th.
“Well, it was a very good start and a very good first lap.” Romain Grosjean said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have any top speed in the beginning of the race. Something was not going quite right. It took a lot of time to solve that. My last stint wasn’t bad. I made up a lot of time on everyone, but the damage had already been done. We had a shot at a good finish today. On the positive side, I’m much happier with the car than I was recently, so that’s at least great. It’s just a shame we lost an opportunity for a good result.”
Laps completed: 44/44
Started 11th, Finished 13th