Romain Grosjean has labelled his run to 11th position in the Japanese Grand Prix as both one of his best and most frustrating races in F1 as his and Haas' points' drought continued at Suzuka.
Starting a season's best seventh, Grosjean ran just inside the top ten for much of the race but would slip back to 11th place following his final stop as the Williams' ascended with their alternative tyre strategy.
Though he would get onto the tail of the Williams with 20 laps remaining, Grosjean would not be able to pass the Finn, leaving him a frustrated 11th in a race he otherwise describes as one of his finest.
“I think I've never been as frustrated as I have been in another race, because I think we deserved much more,” the Frenchman said. “The pace of the car was much faster than the Williams, we just got the life on the hard tyre wrong and we could have pitted earlier on the last stint but the pace was amazing. That's a lot of promise for the future, it's just so annoying being that close and we couldn't do anything.
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Both Haas drivers started the race inside the top 10, only for Grosjean to drop two positions on the opening lap after nearly coming together with Nico Hulkenberg's Force India in the first corner.
Once the first round of pit-stops were completed, the two Williams drivers had moved themselves up into the top 10 having started the race on the medium compound tyres. By running a one-stop strategy, they managed to keep track position ahead of Grosjean, who was clearly faster on a fresher set of tyres.
“It is was so frustrating. The car was so fast on the hard tyre, I was feeling confident, I was pushing, I was overtaking, I was having fun and just couldn't get the Williams.
Though disappointed to miss out on Haas' first points since the Austrian Grand Prix, Grosjean feels Suzuka is representative of the gains still being made by the rookie team even at this stage in the season.
“There is so many the positives [to take from the race], the front wing works well and everything is great.
“100 grands prix [for Grosjean in Austin], home grand prix, let's hope we have a party on Sunday.”
POINTS: The F1 World Championship standings after the Japanese Grand Prix
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