Romain Grosjean says the new Haas F1 team will be looking to score points as “soon as possible”, although he concedes it is a bit early to be setting goals for Australia.
The Frenchman signed to join Haas last autumn, ending his long-spell with Lotus, now re-branded again as Renault.
Haas F1 had a number of issues during the two pre-season tests, but despite that managed over 450 laps in total, leaving Grosjean very much encouraged.
“The first week went very well. There were a few good surprises, a few less fun but, generally, the team has been impressive,” Grosjean said.
“The Formula One world has been impressed by the fact that we were in Barcelona and able to go out and do some good laps. The car felt good and it looks like everyone's been working together for a long time.
“The team spirit is really good. There's a lot of experience here and everyone is listening to each other, which makes it nicer. I was very happy with winter testing and the way everything is going ahead of Australia.”
“There are always up and downs [during testing] and things you need to do,” he added. “There's some boring stuff and some fun stuff. Eight days is not a lot of testing, but coming from scratch, where we started, it's been impressive. Everyone is looking forward to going to the first race.”
Asked about his target for Melbourne, he replied: “It's early to set goals but, of course, we want to score points as early as possible in the season.
“It's a good car with a really good baseline. It felt very similar to the simulator, which is good as well. It's probably going to help us work twice as fast. I felt comfortable straight away in the car. There are a few things we can still adapt and get better but, in general, I was very happy with the way the VF-16 has been working.
“I enjoy Albert Park [too]. It changes a lot during the weekend. It's not a permanent circuit, so the grip is changing a lot. The race start is quite late, but it's one of my favourite grand prix.
"It's not an easy track to get on with. It's very hard on fuel consumption as well. For the first race of the season, it's going to be interesting.”