Haas hit by mixed feedback

By on Friday, April 28, 2017

Haas F1 Team recorded mixed feedback from their drivers after the first two practice session at Sochi, during which Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen not only prepared their cars' balance for qualifying but also got acclimated to new brake provider.

While both drivers tested the Carbon Industrie brakes for two days following the Bahrain Grand Prix, Sochi marked the first time this year the new brake package was used in competition. The incredibly smooth surface of the Sochi Autodrom puts grip at a premium, and the inherit challenge of keeping one’s racecar glued to the asphalt is multiplied when a new brake supplier is introduced.

Magnussen was the first Haas F1 Team driver out in FP1, followed shortly by Grosjean. Both were on the same program: an installation lap on Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires and then a baseline stint on the same Yellow softs before switching to Red supersoft tires for two additional runs, each on the same set of supersofts.

Magnussen logged 23 laps in FP1 with his best time coming on his final lap – a 1:38.747 that placed him 12th overall. Grosjean totaled 17 laps, with his best time coming on his final lap as well – a 1:39.533 that put him 16th on the timing sheet. Both drivers earned their quick times while riding on Red supersofts.

Both Haas F1 Team drivers improved on their FP1 times and moved up the speed chart. Magnussen bettered his FP1 mark by 2.241 seconds with a time of 1:36.506 on his 14th lap with the ultrasoft tires. Grosjean lopped 2.494 seconds off his FP1 time with a 1:37.039 on his 13th tour, also on ultrasofts. 

“We’ve got very little grip. We’re really struggling with the balance. We had some issues, as well, with the brakes over the long runs. We need to look at what we can do better with them. Generally, it’s just been a very difficult Friday. The car didn’t perform well – very low grip on low fuel and high fuel. Hopefully, we can find some performance and get closer to where Kevin is and get back in the top-10 tomorrow,” Romain Grosjean says.

His team mate, Kevin Magnussen, was more positive over the car's performance. “I’m quite happy. We got through the day without any problems on the car. We got the whole program done, so that’s very satisfying", Magnussen explained.

"The early feeling is good with the car. We need to look at a few issues on the balance, normal stuff like that, but the baseline is quite good. The balance of the track is evolving in each session, but the balance in the car is similar, so that’s a good sign. We’ll keep working and try and iron out the small balance issues that we have. As I said, the baseline is good in the car, so it’s just details we need to work on.” 


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