Haas did not enjoy a positive debut on home soil after experiencing a series of issues on Friday with the main one being the rear brake drum’s winglets falling off the car.
The team says the loads are very high in Austin and this might have caused the problems, but hopes to fix it before heading into the last practice session.
Romain Grosjean’s best time in FP1 was a lap of 1:40.826 which put him 14th overall, while Esteban Gutiérrez slotted just behind his team mate. Both drivers were on the exact same program with each logging 15 laps, all exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire.
As temperatures rose from FP1 to FP2 speeds rose too and the vibrations sustained by Haas’ cars as they rumbled over the track’s five-year-old surface brought new challenges to light. Grosjean dealt with some technical issues while Gutiérrez lost some aerodynamic pieces of his car. This led to Grosjean clocking in with the 18th-fastest time and Gutiérrez putting up the 20th-quickest time.
“Not a very positive day for us as we’ve been struggling with some technical problems with the car. The balance was not too bad, but we just didn’t get the performance,” Romain Grosjean says.
“There will be a lot of work tonight. Looking at the data, we have to try and get the best out of the tires. It’s such a cool track to drive, but we just didn’t manage to get it right today. Hopefully, we’ll have everything sorted for FP3.”
His team mate agrees he car was not what they wanted for this weekend but is confident that Saturday is going to be a better day for them.
“It wasn’t an easy day for us. Unfortunately, I had an issue with some aerodynamic parts. It disrupted our program as you get a shift on the car balance, which is obviously not ideal to get a reference and work on the setup. We’re investigating this, but we believe it’s down to vibrations.
“We now have some work to do to put the car together and try to optimize what we have at the moment. We’re going to be working very hard tonight with everything that we have,” said Esteban Gutierrez.