With just a week to go until Haas pulls the wraps off its much anticipated first F1 race car, Romain Grosjean says the focus for the first of two tests will be to simply get the machine running smoothly and reliably.
The Frenchman will head up the American team's maiden F1 effort this year, with the as-yet-unnamed car set to break cover for the first time when pre-season testing begins on the morning of 22nd February at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Grosjean will then have the honour of turning the car's first competitive wheel, where he says the immediate priorities will be to focus on getting comfortable in the car and ensuring everything is working reliably under the skin.
“The first thing for the test is to get the car to run and to work well from there,” he said. “Hopefully, we can get a lot of mileage. This is a new team, so we need to get everyone to work together, all the engineers, mechanics and the drivers.
“As a driver, you want to be comfortable in your seat. You want the steering wheel to work as you want, along with the dashboard. You want the communication with your engineers to work. From the team side, of course, there is a protocol they want to follow. They want to do as much mileage as they can. It's a big test, which we don't get during the course of the season.
“They also want to make sure everyone works together. On the final day, you normally do a race simulation where you do a pit stop and you work on strategy. You want to see that you don't have any problems so you're ready to go to Melbourne.”
Indeed, with just two tests across eight days, Grosjean admits it will be a challenge for a new team to build up the data, but he is looking forward to the challenge.
“We need to get as much data and knowledge as we can. It's important to get the reliability sorted as early as possible because we don't get much testing and we're going straight to Melbourne.”
Grosjean will drive the Ferrari-powered car on the first day of action before handing over to team-mate Esteban Gutierrez on Tuesday (23rs Feb).