Romain Grosjean says he has no explanation for his Haas Formula 1 team’s rapid pace during Spanish Grand Prix practice on Friday, but revealed he “changed three pairs of underwear”.

The Frenchman, who is yet to score a point or qualify higher than 13th so far this year, was sixth fastest in opening practice, before improving to fifth in the afternoon. His Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen was ninth in the morning but dropped to P16 in second practice.

Given Haas’ struggles at the start of the delayed 2020 season, Grosjean admitted his strong pace came as a surprise.

“Is it real? Pinch me!” Grosjean said when asked about his speed throughout Friday practice in Barcelona.

“I don’t know, and in all fairness, no-one really knows. It’s the same car since the beginning of the year. We’ve made some good set-up work into Silverstone, but it was power sensitive. Here it’s maybe a little bit less.

“Sixth in FP1, fifth in FP2. The long run pace was pretty good. We’re really happy with that, I think there was some more work we can do on the car to bring it even more to my liking.

“I hope nothing changes, I hope all stays the same, and tomorrow we can go for a good quali, and that would definitely set up a good weekend. You should take the day as it comes, you do the best you can.

“Today was absolutely mega, I hope tomorrow and Sunday are as well.”

Asked about the weather conditions, Grosjean replied: “It is very hot. I mean, I changed three pairs of underwear today, just because of the sweat. So luckily, I've got some spare ones here at the track.

“Hey, you want the glamour of F1? Yeah, you have it!”

While Haas team boss Guenther Steiner stressed he wanted to “stay grounded”, McLaren’s Lando Norris reckons Haas’ surprising pace on Friday is track-specific.

“I think Haas always do very well here for whatever reason, more than a lot of other tracks,” Norris explained.

“It’s a surprise to see them as quick as they were. But at the same time, we weren’t not expecting it, in some ways. This is the track they normally perform well at.”

 

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