Romain Grosjean feels largely happy with the performances seen so far this season for the Haas F1 team, although the previous round at the Sochi Autodrom was far from easy and resulted in a back row start and a first corner elimination.
The Frenchman feels positive that the team have been more consistent throughout the opening stages of the 2017 season than they showed last year, and, Russia apart, they have been there or thereabouts when it comes to making it through to the top ten shootout during qualifying.
“Generally, if you look at the first three races, we’ve been really consistent, really good,” said Grosjean. “Sochi was a peculiar one. We struggled a little bit with the car. I struggled with my driving.
“We can analyze a lot from it. I don’t think it’s down to inconsistency, as it was last year, so I would say that I’m pretty pleased with the way we’ve started the year. I’m pleased with where the car is. We’re usually on the border line for getting into Q3.”
Grosjean is looking forward to seeing how the Haas upgrades set to debut at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will work, and he knows the importance of bringing upgrades to the car, especially in the tight confines of the midfield pack that is already ebbing and flowing this season.
“Now the big question is what the updates are going to do?” said Grosjean. ”How much of an upgrade are we going to get compared to others? I believe we’re on a good path, but you never know what the others are doing. It’s going to be good to go to Barcelona and see the work we’ve done.”
“We’ve got some pretty big updates coming. It’s going to be the first big test for us in 2017. The year is going to be mainly driven by updates and the performance it brings to the car.
“I think the car that was on pole in Melbourne, if you bring it to Abu Dhabi at the end of the year, I’m not even sure you’d make it to Q2. I’m pretty sure you cannot. Updates this year are going to be big, so I’m looking forward to that.
“Every grand prix is the same thing. You start the weekend trying to get the basics right. You’re working on setup and, of course, if you’ve got an update, on the first day you’re looking to see if its working and doing what it’s meant to do. If that’s the case then great, if not, you have to try and understand why and fine tune it in a certain way.”