Esteban Gutierrez: New Haas F1 car above expectations

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BARCELONA – Esteban Gutierrez says that the new Haas Formula 1 car is better than he expected it to be after enjoying his first test in Barcelona on Tuesday.

Gutierrez joined Haas for the 2016 season after spending a year off the grid working as Ferrari’s reserve driver.

The Mexican driver today enjoyed his first full F1 test in nine months, finishing sixth in the final standings as Haas continued its strong start to the year.

When asked by MotorSportsTalk whether his first day of running had changed his expectations for the season ahead, Gutierrez admitted that he was pleasantly surprised by the car.

“To be honest, it’s better than what I expected,” Gutierrez said.

“The first installation lap, I was quite impressed. It seems that we have a good baseline.

“At the moment, we still don’t have the complete car, we are working on it. But I think having the approach to do as many laps as possible and get away from the reliability issues is right now the target for this test and try to look for some performance next week.”

Gutierrez made no secret of his delight after returning to the wheel of an F1 car, saying that it was a good start to the season.

“It’s been a very special day, very incredible to get on the installation lap finally a feeling of the car,” Gutierrez said.

“Obviously I had to be very patient last year. At the same time, my preparation has been very important, it was a very important year. Now that I’m back and have a good feeling of the car, enjoying driving the car, it’s already a positive start.”