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Haas ‘exceeded their own expectations’ in first test

25 Feb 2016

Haas surprised themselves with how well their new car - and new team - performed during 2016’s opening pre-season test at Barcelona, according to team principal Guenther Steiner.

The American team racked up 281 laps in total over the four days in Spain, and encountered just one significant problem - on day one, when Romain Grosjean suffered a front wing failure along the main straight. The Frenchman was able to return later that afternoon however, and went on to finish an impressive second fastest on the third and penultimate day.

Steiner admits they had been braced for a more problematic start to their first year in Formula One racing, saying: “We are pretty happy with the progress we have made, we didn’t anticipate that we would get all this running - to do a whole race distance was pretty cool today.

“We have a pretty long list of what we have to fix, but we are working on it - there are trucks leaving in the next few hours to fix things. And it’s not like we are saying ‘woah, how do we fix this?’, so we are in pretty good shape.

“That gives a good feeling. Sure we would have liked to have fewer problems, but we expected to run less, to be honest.

“I am a little surprised [by how smoothly it has gone] - but we had our work cut out too. I wouldn’t call the front wing smooth, that was not enjoyable on the first day. But I am positive because of how well we recovered from it: we had a solution and in the afternoon we were out again. We did some measures, and the next day we were up on top speed again.

“I am very happy with how it went, let’s put it like that.”

Steiner said he had also been impressed with how quickly and effectively the team began working together, adding: “I am quite positively surprised with how quickly the team has gelled. The mechanics got used to the car quickly, and you can see the difference between days one and four - you can measure it.

“Things can go wrong - we need to practice pit stops a bit more, because the reality is a different story to doing it in the garage. It is a new experience for the guys [and] our biggest enemy is that we make mistakes just because we are inexperienced.

“But we have a lot of confidence, a lot of data. We are in pretty good shape.”