The Haas F1 Team had a mixed day to go with the mixed weather conditions on the opening day of practice for Sunday’s season opening Australian Grand Prix.
In Free Practice one Romain Grosjean completed 6 laps setting the 20th fastest time overall with a 1m 43.443 in his Ferrari powered VF16. In the second session, the Frenchman completed eight laps setting the 13th fastest time of 1m 43.731s.
Speaking following the day of on track action, Grosjean stated:
We had tricky weather for our first official practice sessions. It was a very good effort from all the guys to get out there on time at the beginning of P1. It was a very strong moment as well for Gene (Haas, team owner) and Guenther (Steiner, team principal), who have been working on the project for a long time. We became an official Formula One team today.
“The weather was tricky. We did a few laps on inters, but we just missed the opportunity to run the slicks. It looks like we could have a dry P3, so we can try to catch up and go from there tomorrow. I’m very proud of everyone and very proud to officially enter our name into the classification. I’m looking forward to a drier day tomorrow.
Esteban Gutierrez taking part in his first Free Practice session since 2014 ending the opening one in 18th place completing eight laps with a fastest time of 1m 41.780s while in the second session he ended up just outside the top ten in 11th place with a fastest time of 1m 42.891s completing 10 laps.
Speaking following his first day in the car, the Mexican stated:
It’s amazing to finally be in Melbourne, running out on track and making history for the team. The guys have done a fantastic job to get everything ready. The conditions today have been variable. However, we ran as much as we could to get as much data as possible to prepare for Saturday. We’ve obviously got some work to do tonight to get everything sorted for tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to getting back out there.
Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner commented on the day of track action by saying:
It’s been a mixed day for us. During the first practice with the rain coming and going, we got some laps in but not as much as we’d hoped. However, we made the best out of the situation and made some progress. The second practice was very similar to the first one. We didn’t achieve as many laps as we wanted in the session, but we’ll utilize all the data we have and keep working hard as we head into tomorrow.