Romain Grosjean was able to get his Haas into the top ten in both FP1 and FP2 with the Frenchman’s only issues coming in the second session after suffering two lock-ups.
The team are in a grey area regarding their T-wing, that was oscillating so much that they had to remove it in FP2, and are unlikely to be given permission to run it for the rest of the weekend. Kevin Magnussen also encountered a water leak in the second session, reducing his running time to a miserable eight laps around Albert Park.
The good news was that Grosjean’s car was quick, he managed to finish both sessions in 8th place and is looking like he will be in a good position to score points for the first race of the season. Haas were low in the expectations of many this season, so it’s relieving to see one of there cars putting in performances that place it at the sharp end of the midfield. Grosjean said,
“It was a pretty good day on my side of the garage. The car felt much nicer than in winter testing, which is great. It’s good to be here and put the right setup on the car and go out there and have some fun. We more or less did the program we expected to do today, which is surprising for a first day in Australia, though there was a bit of trouble on the other side of the garage. Hopefully we can share our data and get even faster for tomorrow”
– Romain Grosjean
Contrarily, Kevin Magnussen wasn’t happy with his first day in the VF-17:
“It was a frustrating day. I didn’t really get much out of it. We’ll investigate and, hopefully, find the issue. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. We don’t know what the weather’s going to do. It might rain and everything will change anyway. Let’s see what happens. It’s good to see, though, that the car is competitive.”
– Kevin Magnussen
If its more of the same at the front of the grid, then the midfield at least looks to have benefitted under the new regulations, with Williams, Haas, Force India, Renault and Toro Rosso all looking very close. Haas will be looking to start their 2017 campaign in the same fashion as last year’s successful debut, but they will want both of their cars in contention so they can double their chances of scoring some solid points early on.