During the first lap of the race, Romain Grosjean took advantage of the dustup between Vettel and Rosberg to pick up three positions, advancing from his 12th-place starting spot to run ninth.
And when the VSC period ended, Grosjean engaged in a spirited battle with the McLaren of Fernando Alonso. Romain held off the two-time Formula One champion for a number of laps before Alonso passed him for ninth on lap six.
Running 10th with the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr. less than a second behind, Grosjean set his sights on holding the position and earning another point-paying finish for Haas F1 Team. On lap nine, those aspirations quickly went away.
As the french driver applied the brakes to slow his Haas VF-16 after shooting down the long straight into the hairpin turn 15, his pedal went to the floor. The car twitched side-to-side and the wheels eventually locked, sending Romain off track and deep into the gravel trap.
He emerged from his car unhurt but deeply unsatisfied.
“There was a brake failure.” Romain Grosjean said. “We really don’t know what yet, but the pedal just went straight to the floor and I had to avoid the car in front of me. Our data didn’t suggest anything beforehand. It’s a shame. We did a really good first lap and we were looking at points running inside the top-10. Things just didn’t go very well. I was racing with Fernando (Alonso). He had power, so it was very difficult to keep him behind. I was then just trying to follow his pace. The plan was to try to keep the tires alive for quite a while. We just didn’t get to that point, though.”
Laps completed: 8/56
Started 18th, DNF