Haas driver Romain Grosjean believes he was losing two seconds per lap due to the extent of the damage he sustained on the opening lap of the Tuscan Grand Prix.
The Frenchman was involved in the multi-car shunt involving Kimi Raikkonen, Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen but managed to escape the gravel and re-join the race, going on to reach the chequered flag.
Although the chaotic race offered Grosjean a sniff at his first Championship points in 14 months due to multiple mid-race restarts, the Haas driver crossed the line as the last of the classified finishers in 12th spot.
He had briefly run inside the top 10 after the final standing restart but quickly slipped back.
“It’s one of the strengths of Haas – we never give up,” Grosjean said. “I had a big hit at Turn 2 on the first lap. The car was switched off, I was ready to retire.
“Then I saw I had two wheels on the grass so I restarted the engine to see if I could get out of the gravel. I was able to get going and the suspension was ok, so we thought ‘let’s keep going’.
“At the first red flag I saw the state of the car, I didn’t know how we were going to keep racing, half of the left-hand side was missing.
“The guys said to hang in and we did our best. The last restart was fun, I managed to get up the order a bit.
“But when you’re missing about two seconds a lap, which we had calculated in aero damage, there’s not much you can do. That said, I’m very happy that we didn’t give up. Nobody can take that from us.”
Grosjean’s team-mate Kevin Magnussen failed to reach the end of the grand prix after he was involved in another multi-car crash during a Safety Car restart.