Haas F1 encouraged after positive final day of testing

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While the first week of testing for Haas F1 Team at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya went rather swimmingly, the second week this week has provided a bit of a reality check on the magnitude of the task.

Turbo issues hampered running on Tuesday and Wednesday but with issues sorted by today, both Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez combined for a day in the VF-16 Ferrari.

The pairing completed 91 laps, the most in any day for Haas thus far this preseason. That brought the combined total to 474 laps this preseason testing, with 281 laps last week and 193 this week.

Grosjean posted the best time of 1:25.255 on Pirelli’s soft compound. He ran 66 laps in the morning with Gutierrez taking over for 25 in the afternoon.

“It was definitely a better day today than the last three days. We made a lot of progress,” said team principal Guenther Steiner. “We sorted our problems from yesterday with our brake-by-wire and got some laps in.”

“Our final day has been very different from the previous days. It’s been a very positive day for all of us,” Grosjean added. “The guys did an amazing job last night to understand the problem with the brake-by-wire. They got it solved for today. It was a big relief to be able to drive the car and drive it well. There are still a few places where we can improve massively, but we’re working on it. I’m looking forward to getting to the first race now. We can fine tune the car there. Let’s go racing, as Gene (Haas) would say.”

Steiner said today’s day of running was sincerely needed as the final tune-up before Melbourne, with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 20.

“This was our last day testing before Australia. We’re as well prepared as we can be at this moment. We had a driver swap this afternoon to allow for some setup changes. It gave Esteban a few more laps before going to Melbourne. It’s been a challenging month.

“We put the car together, went to the test – it’s been day-and-night work. Thanks go to the whole team. They’ve done a fantastic job. See you in Australia.”