Romain Grosjean: “There are still a few unknowns going to Melbourne”

by Paul Hensby

Romain Grosjean believes the big teams in Formula 1 will be more ready for the new season than his Haas F1 Team will be, especially after only eight days of testing in 2017.

The Frenchman took the VF-17 for the final day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday and completed 76 laps in finishing tenth fastest, and revealed that both he and his new team-mate Kevin Magnussen both have ideas to where the car can be improved ahead of the first race in Australia at the end of the month.

Grosjean did not have the smoothest day however, with a spin into the gravel at turn five being followed by a stoppage on track due a sensor issue.

“Well, you never feel totally prepared after testing and before you head to Australia,” said Grosjean. “We only have eight days, of which you only get four as a driver and one of those was the wet day I had last week.

“Yes, the big teams are ready, but for us there are still a few unknowns going to Melbourne. That’s the charm of Formula One. That said, I think we have some good ideas where we can improve the car and, hopefully, the updates we’re going to get in Australia will go our way.

“I think both myself and Kevin (Magnussen) have identified where we can gain some performance.”

Team Principal Guenther Steiner was disappointed to end pre-season testing with a day full of issues, but felt overall that they had a decent eight days in Spain.

“Definitely not our best day today,” said Steiner on Friday. “We had quite a few issues with the handling of the car. We couldn’t find a good balance.

“In the afternoon we had a few problems and we stopped early due to a water leak. We couldn’t get it fixed in time. We didn’t finish our race simulation, unfortunately.

“All in all, the test was, up until today, pretty good. We now go back and see what happened today, analyse data and see what we can do to get ready for Melbourne.”

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