Romain Grosjean admits he doesn’t know if his performances are a legitimate reflection of the potential of his Haas at the Spanish Grand Prix after finishing both Friday practice sessions in the top six.
The Frenchman started the weekend with a sixth place that was somewhat surprising but tempered by the fact the FP1 order is often more mixed up as teams test different items. But Grosjean followed that with fifth place in FP2, and was surprised to be so far up in a car that Haas is not upgrading this season.
“Is it real? Pinch me!” Grosjean said. “I don’t know. In all fairness I don’t know. No one really knows – it’s the same car as it was since the beginning of the year. We’ve done some good set-up work [going] into Silverstone, and so at I think Silverstone the performance was really good, but it was a bit power-sensitive. Here it’s maybe less.
“Sixth in FP1, fifth in FP2, the long run pace was really good. We’re really happy with that, and there is some more work we can do on the car to bring it even more to my liking. But generally, what a day.”
Given the strength of the performance on both low and high fuel, Grosjean said he has confidence in the car and is hoping Saturday doesn’t bring different conditions.
“I think it’s getting better and better, especially on the hard tires at the beginning of FP2, and then on soft again, 2.5 seconds,” he said. “Obviously it’s never going to be your perfect lap because you can gain so much and get it perfectly right, so [there are] a few corners that I want us to look at and work on, and then we should be able to hopefully fight for a good position.
“I hope nothing changes, I hope all stays the same and tomorrow we can go for a good quali and we can definitely set-up a good weekend.”
Grosjean conceded there is a chance Haas’ rivals find more performance overnight, but he said he will not be losing sleep over what other teams are able to do.
“I’ve been in Formula 1 for 10 years,” he said. “You take the day as it comes, you do the best you can. Today was absolutely mega, I hope tomorrow and Sunday is as well. We just keep doing the best we can, keep working on our car and there’s nothing I can do for changing what the others will do – it’s only that I can keep driving the car the way I did.”