Romain Grosjean finished eighth in both free practice sessions at Albert Park on Friday, and the Frenchman was delighted to start the season seemingly on the front foot.
The Haas F1 Team driver completed 20 laps in the first session and set a best time of 1:26.168 before returning to the track in the second session for 29 more laps, improving his time to a 1:25.436, and had a virtually straightforward day in his VF-17.
Grosjean bemoaned the issues that affected team-mate Kevin Magnussen but hoped lap times could lower still further as they continue to work on set-up.
“It was a pretty good day on my side of the garage,” said Grosjean. “The car felt much nicer than in winter testing, which is great. It’s good to be here and put the right set-up 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.
“I’m sure there are plenty of areas where we can improve. Hopefully, tomorrow’s going to be a good day.”