Romain Grosjean admitted he was expecting a wet day at the Suzuka International Racing Course following the warnings over the typhoon heading the way of the circuit, but he was pleasantly surprised when both free practice sessions on Friday were held in completely dry conditions.
The Haas F1 Team racer made the most of the day to finish eighth in both sessions, with his best time of 1:30.440 coming in the afternoon’s offering, although he was 2.223 seconds off the overall fastest time of the day set by championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
“It’s been a good day,” said Grosjean. “It’s great that we got a lot of running in the dry – we were not expecting it. When we came in this morning, we thought that FP1 might be dry but FP2 would be wet.
“I think the weather’s getting better for tomorrow, as well. It’s such an amazing track to drive. You want to get as many laps as you can, so I’m very happy with that.”
Grosjean says the VF-18 feels to be handling pretty well at Suzuka so far, both on short runs and over longer stints, and although he acknowledges there is work to be done to find more performance, he was happy with how the Japanese Grand Prix weekend began on Friday.
“The car seems to be working pretty well, on low fuel and high fuel,” said the Frenchman. “We have a few bits and pieces to adapt for tomorrow to make sure we get a bit of extra performance but, generally, I’m happy with the day.”