By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Romain Grosjean helped lead the Haas F1 to its most successful Friday in team history.
The 31-year-old Frenchman finished both practice sessions in the top 10 for the Australian Grand Prix among the top 10. He ended sixth-best in the afternoon with a lap of 1 minute, 24.648 seconds, which fell 0.197 of a second behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
“It’s been a good day,” said Grosjean, who completed 34 laps on the day around the 3.295-mile, 16-turn circuit.
“I’m happy with the car and the guys did a great job getting everything ready,” “We had a successful winter test, and it’s good to confirm that the car is up there on a different track and with different temperatures. Obviously, it’s early stages and we need to keep up the work and keep building everything.
“There are areas where we can improve the car but, generally, I’m very happy with how today went.”
Although teammate Kevin Magnussen endured his fair share of struggles in the opening practice, he rebounded to complete 30 laps in the afternoon, posting the ninth-best time at 1 minute, 25.246 seconds.
“I’m fairly positive, but we still have some work to do,” said Magnussen.
“I had quite a few abnormal issues today – nothing big – but little annoying issues with small things that were breaking. That stopped us from running as much as we’d hoped for, at least on my side. We got at least one run that was representative where I got to feel the car, and I was happy with the feeling. I’m looking forward to trying again tomorrow.
“Obviously, we don’t know what the weather’s going to do, but if it’s dry, I have a feeling we have a good package.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal of Haas, which are entering their third Formula 1 season, came away pleased with the team’s efforts despite Magnussen’s problems.
“Not a bad day, but not a perfect one either,” said Steiner.
“We had some small issues with Kevin in FP1 which carried into FP2. In the end, though, we came out not too bad. We have a good understanding of what we can do. We’ve got some more work to do tomorrow, but then I think everything changes a bit, because it’s supposed to be raining all day long.”