U.S.-based Haas F1 Team makes final round of qualifying for first time

BY foxsports • September 3, 2016

The start of the 2016 Formula One World Championship was a dream come true for the Haas F1 Team, based out of North Carolina.

In its first two races, the Ferrari-powered team scored points at the Australian and Bahrain Grands Prix, with Romain Grosjean taking sixth and fifth positions respectively.

Since then, neither Grosjean nor Esteban Gutierrez has been able to score a point in the World Championship - which you do by finishing the race inside the top 10.

Additionally, the team has failed to advance to the final round of qualifying - Q3 - all season long.

However, that all changed Saturday.

Gutierrez surprised a lot of fans during qualifying for the Italian GP in Monza, turning the seventh quickest time during the second round of qualifying. This allowed him to put the VF-16 into the third round of qualifying for the first time in 2016.

However, things didn't go as swimmingly in Q3, as Gutierrez ran off course during his first run and then could only turn a 1:23.184 for his second run, which ranked him as the slowest car in the final round of qualifying.

Yet that is still good enough for 10th on the grid, while Grosjean qualified 12th but will start 17th after taking a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

"First of all, I have to say thank you to the team," said Gutierrez. "I'm very grateful and proud of them because everybody has done a great job in achieving the consistency that has allowed us to work on the details that make the difference. In qualifying, for the first time we broke the top-10 barrier by getting into Q3. It was an amazing effort from everyone involved in setting up the car throughout the weekend and having the communication and level of understanding to make it work. The laps were fantastic. I really enjoyed them and I loved pushing the car. Today we have extracted the maximum from our opportunities and we have to make sure we do the same tomorrow."

Click HERE for full qualifying results.