Romain Grosjean may only have completed one race for his new team, but he is already rating its first attempt at an F1 as 'one of the best' he's had the privilege of driving in the top flight.
Admittedly, the Frenchman has had his share of dogs during his brief grand prix career, but transferring from Lotus to Haas over the winter carried the risk of lumbering him with something that needed to be heavily developed before it could be considered competitive.
Instead, Grosjean took the VF-16 to sixth place on debut in the Australian Grand Prix and, while he acknowledges that he was helped by a fortuitous red flag, insists that there is more to come from the car over the course of the season.
“It was a great debut, better than we were expecting," he confirmed, having also reckoned that he should have qualified higher than his eventual 19th on the grid, "It was good for F1, and good for the team, having a brand new team coming in and showing it is possible to score points in the first [race]. For all my guys and everyone who has been working so hard in the last two months, it was a good morale boost and confirmation that the car we are driving is probably one of the best I have ever driven.”
Having frustrated Nico Hulkenberg for 40 laps in Melbourne, Grosjean is confident that the Haas has the potential to be a midfield contender this season, but admits that there will be ups and downs along the way.
“I think there is a lot that we need to learn and a lot of things that we can do better,” he said. “We didn't have any practice in Australia due to the rain, and then we had the crash in the pit-lane in P3, so we put the car on the track with barely any set-up work and just guessed where we should be, so I am sure that, whenever we get more running and more time in the car, there is more potential to come.
"I am not saying we will be top five here this weekend; I am just saying it is the beginning for the team. We will have up and downs, but the potential is big.”
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