Romain Grosjean overcame a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change that turned his 12th-place qualifying effort into a 17th-place starting spot.
Despite the setback, Grosjean made the most of his start, rallying to 13th after the first lap. He then passed the Manor of Pascal Wehrlein on lap two to take 12th. From there, Grosjean settled in for a long haul, at least by Formula One standards. He was the last driver to pit, going 28 laps before swapping the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires he used to start the race for a set of Red supersofts.
The French driver then managed those tires for the next 25 laps, with his one-stop strategy allowing him to finish 11th even while holding off the surging McLaren of Jenson Button in the closing laps.
“To be fair, I think we were just lacking a little bit of speed in the race to make the points. We tried a very aggressive one-stop strategy. I had a bit of graining on the softs in the first stint through those last few laps. That cost us a few seconds, but I don’t think I could have gotten the 12 seconds needed to get to P10 in the end. That was about the maximum today. We just need to learn what we can do better for the next race. I’m now looking ahead to Singapore. It’s one of the best races of the season.”
Laps completed: 52/53
Started 17th, Finished 11th