Romain Grosjean has described his Haas VF-17 as a 'sexy' car with the new F1 technical regulations and is keen to discover the car's early potential having resisted the chance during pre-season testing.

The Haas F1 driver made history 12 months ago when astute strategy in Melbourne saw Grosjean clinch sixth place on the USA team's race debut to become the first team since Toyota in 2002 to score points on debut.

Despite not ruling out attempts for a similar start to Haas' second season in the sport, Grosjean expects the team to build momentum throughout the year and is thrilled to finally get to race the new F1 car after pre-season testing in Spain.

"It's a pretty sexy car. It's got a lot of potential, which we haven't unlocked yet," Grosjean said. "It's a good baseline, though, and so far it feels pretty good to drive. There are a few things I'd like to improve and make better for the first few races, but I think it's a car that should give us some good races.

"You could really see a difference from last year when we had our first winter test. The team was much more ready, everyone knew what they had to do. We had a few small problems, as you would expect, but generally everything was sorted very quickly.

"I don't think you're ever fully prepared to go to Australia with only four days driving the new car. It's the same thing for everyone, so we have to make the most of it."

The French driver is also relishing the first opportunity to fully turn up the Haas car's potential having not driven the VF-17 in its maximum qualifying set-up.

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F1 teams generally avoid revealing their full pace during testing to keep its rivals guessing during the vital early stages of development, especially in the new F1 technical regulations.

"Ferrari has made a good step [with the engine]," he said. "The drivability was very good. We haven't yet had qualifying maximum power, which you only get at the racetrack, but I've got a good feeling that this engine is going to be nicely pushing us on the straight."

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