The Haas F1 Team were pretty happy with their work on the opening day of track activity at the Baku circuit in Azerbaijan on Friday ahead of Sunday’s European Grand Prix. In this morning opening session, Romain Grosjean completed 20 laps setting the 11th fastest time with a 01:49.611s while in the afternoon session he completed 29 laps and set the 12th fastest time with a 01:46.681s and speaking following the day of action the Frenchman commented by saying:
Discovering a new track is exciting in some places and pretty tricky in others. It’s not easy to find the right balance but I’m much happier than where we’ve been recently, so that’s pretty positive. I’m sure there’s still a lot to come from everything. It wasn’t easy with the track temperature dropping this evening to find the right set up, but I think we’re in a position where we’re getting there finding the balance. Tomorrow we can improve a little bit. We’re just outside Q3 which wouldn’t be a bad place to start. The car definitely felt better than more recently and the tires were working better. There are still a few issues we need to solve but generally I’m happy.
Esteban Gutierrez in the second Haas F1 VF16 completed 25 laps in the opening session setting the 14th fastest time with a 01:50.167s while in the second session this afternoon the Mexican completed 26 laps on his way to setting the 15th fastest time with a 01:46.830s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
It was a productive Friday for us. We had a good program and we managed to complete everything we wanted to do. It was very interesting to get to know the circuit. It’s a fun track to drive. The car seems to be behaving well and the grip is better than I expected, so that’s a positive we can take through the weekend. Obviously that will keep on improving so we need to make sure we follow that with the car setup to maximize its potential. I had a small touch with the wall toward the end of FP2 where the track becomes very tight due to a little bit of understeer, but it was ok and there was no damage to the car. Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow and to qualifying.
The Haas F1 Team are currently in eight place in the championship just two points behind McLaren Honda and speaking following Friday’s running their team principal Guenther Steiner commented by saying:
Good day today for both drivers on a new track. We managed to get through the test program we’d set out, so we’re pretty happy with that. It doesn’t seem that we’ve got the issues with the tires that we had with the last race, so that appears to be a little more under control. Now we’re focusing our efforts on tomorrow and getting the car set up for qualifying, as we’re pushing to improve our performance and move a little further up the grid.