Romain Grosjean believes that there could be more to come from the Haas F1 Team through the 2016 season, after securing points first time out in Australia.
The Frenchman took the risk of joining Gene Haas' start-up for 2016 but immediately put it in the running for a solid constructors' championship position by taking eight points from Melbourne. Benefiting from a red flag stoppage, Grosjean fitted the medium compound Pirellis and ran to the finish, where rivals had to make further stops to ensure their rubber went the distance.
Now, heading to Bahrain for round to of the season, Grosjean claims that the result was no fluke, and expects the Haas team to continue performing above expectation as it gains experience.
“[Australia] went better than expected, to be fair," the former Renault and Lotus pilot admitted, "It was a difficult weekend with the weather, and a tricky qualifying session for everyone, but Sunday is the day you really want to perform, and we did very well. The car was reliable and it went to the end. The strategy was perfect.
"Since day one, the car has shown huge potential and we showed that in Australia. With barely any set-up work, we put it on the track and managed to hold on to sixth at the end of the grand prix.”
Compared to Australia, the weather in Bahrain should be more consistent, and Grosjean, who has twice finished third at the Sakhir circuit including his maiden F1 podium in 2012, is looking forward to the opportunity to begin honing his VF-16.
“It would be very helpful," he said of the expected desert conditions, "We need to get more running, we need to get more mileage and further our understanding of the car.
"We have a long list of things we want to try and do, and things to improve. It's a lot of work but, on the other hand, it means we can improve the car by a big chunk. I always like to keep things positive and, if we can do a lot of that in Bahrain, the car will improve and that means we can keep working on better results.”