Haas F1 Team: Free Practice Report
Friday’s two practice sessions at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya allowed Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez to return to the track where they first wheeled the VF-16 during preseason testing in late February and early March.
With four races in the books since those initial laps around the 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn circuit, the duo utilized the track time to prepare for the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
In the morning session (FP1), Grosjean was 16th fastest among the 21 drivers hitting the track with a best lap of 1:27.258. Gutiérrez was just behind his teammate in 17th with a lap of 1:27.283. Grosjean earned his fast time during a 10-lap run and Gutiérrez was quickest during an 11-lap stint. Both drivers ran the Pirelli P Zero White medium tires throughout the session, with Grosjean totaling 17 laps and Gutiérrez logging 18 laps.
Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari was fastest in the first session, with his lap of 1:23.951 bettering last year’s pole-winning time for the Spanish Grand Prix by .73 of a second. The top-four drivers in FP1 – Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton – posted a time that was faster than last year’s pole (1:24.681), set by Mercedes’ Rosberg.
The afternoon session (FP2) produced mixed results. Gutiérrez was held to nine laps due to an electronics issue with his car that developed after only 30 minutes of running. Grosjean made a total of 33 laps, but described his car as “very difficult to drive” during a 20-lap stint that included two pit stops – one to practice a tire change and the other to practice a nose change.
Grosjean’s best time was 1:25.899, earned on Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires just before the session’s 30-minute mark. It placed him 13th overall. Gutiérrez’s best time was 1:28.205, earned on Pirelli P Zero Orange hard tires during his opening, six-lap stint. It placed him 21st overall.
Rosberg topped the second session with a time of 1:23.922, which bettered Vettel’s quick time from FP1. Vettel was fourth-fastest (1:25.017) in FP2, but his Scuderia Ferrari teammate, Raikkonen, was .254 of a second behind Rosberg with the second-fastest time (1:24.176). All 22 drivers participated in FP2.
Between the two sessions, Haas F1 Team ran a total of 77 laps – 50 by Grosjean and 27 by Gutiérrez.
Drivers have one more practice session on Saturday (11:00-12:00) before qualifying starts at 14:00. Qualifying consists of three rounds, with the 16 fastest drivers from Q1 moving on to Q2. Then, the 10 fastest drivers from Q2 advance to Q3 where they’ll battle for the pole.