Grosjean confirms ‘dark horse’ speed of Haas VF-18

It’s early days still but Romain Grosjean validated the good form and speed of Haas’ new VF-18 charger.

The French driver, who said earlier this week that the car was the best the young US outfit had produced to date, and which many have dubbed the ‘white Ferrari’, clocked in with the seventh fastest time in FP1 but moved up to P6 by the end of Friday’s second free practice session.

“It’s been a good day. I’m happy with the car and the guys did a great job getting everything ready,” said a smiling Grosjean.

“We had a successful winter test, and it’s good to confirm that the car is up there on a different track and with different temperatures.

“Obviously, it’s early stages and we need to keep up the work and keep building everything. There are areas where we can improve the car but, generally, I’m very happy with how today went.”

    Hamilton leads the way in Melbourne’s opening practice session

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner admitted it hadn’t been a bad day for his team, although it could have been better from Kevin Magnussen’s point of view.

“Not a bad day, but not a perfect one either,” said Steiner.

“We had some small issues with Kevin in FP1 which carried into FP2. In the end, though, we came out not too bad.

“We have a good understanding of what we can do. We’ve got some more work to do tomorrow, but then I think everything changes a bit, because it’s supposed to be raining all day long.”

Given the good performance and indisputable potential showed by his team mate, Magnussen was relatively unfazed by his morning’s issues and upbeat for the remainder of the weekend.

“I’m fairly positive, but we still have some work to do,” said the Dane.;

“I had quite a few abnormal issues today – nothing big – but little annoying issues with small things that were breaking.

“That stopped us from running as much as we’d hoped for, at least on my side. We got at least one run that was representative where I got to feel the car, and I was happy with the feeling.

“I’m looking forward to trying again tomorrow. Obviously, we don’t know what the weather’s going to do, but if it’s dry, I have a feeling we have a good package.”

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