Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen both believe their car has untapped potential heading into final practice and Qualifying on Saturday at the Circuit of the Americas.
Magnussen completed sixteen laps with a fastest time of 1.38.408s to finish first practice in eleventh place, close to a second faster than his team mate in fifteenth during a session hampered by tricky wet conditions.
The second session offered some smoother dry running, consequently seeing lap times drop across the board. Magnussen again outpaced Grosjean to set a time of 1.37.285s in fourteenth place, while Grosjean finished the session with a fastest lap of 1.38.387s in twentieth.
“We didn’t get the best of everything we could,” said Grosjean. “We had a problem with the Ultrasoft in the afternoon, so on the timesheet we are very far away. Even so, we haven’t got the sweet spot of the car.
“We know this is something where we’re not always bang on. We need to find out where to put that. After that, I’m not too worried that the car’s going to come back to its level. It’s just getting the grip better with the compounds.”
The already tentative relationship between the two drivers was not improved by an incident during the morning session however, whereby Magnussen felt he was help up on a fast lap by Grosjean, prompting him to cut across his team mate – much to each others’ annoyance. Magnussen was nevertheless optimistic come the end of Friday.
“It was a little bit inconclusive, but I wouldn’t say it’s been a bad day,” said Magnussen. “It’s always good to go out and have a feel for the conditions on the inters, which we did this morning, and to see where the puddles are on track.
“We had a few technical issues on the car that we needed to sort – just little things – but the car feels OK. The balance doesn’t feel bad, and that’s the main thing. We have some stuff to work on for tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes.”