Dark horse Haas leaves big impression

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The Haas F1 Team was a consistent and fast runner in pre-season testing in Barcelona, and has emerged as F1's dark horse for 2018.

The US outfit's VF-18 charger, dubbed the 'white Ferrari' by paddock insiders, enjoyed a trouble-free two weeks at the Circuit de Catalunya as Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean put the new car through its paces, achieving an impressive level of performance overall.

Present trackside in Barcelona last week, where he got a good view of the car's speed and behaviour, former F1 driver Alex Wurz was left impressed.

"Haas made a big impression on me," the Austrian told Speed Week.

"The car looks excellent -- as good as last year's Ferrari. And everyone knows how good that worked. And the handling is really impressive on any fuel load," he added.

Another man who was close to the action, although indirectly, is Jan Magnussen, another former F1 driver and the father of Haas' Kevin Magnussen.

The Dane was second fastest last Thursday, behind the unassailable Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, and apparent the son had nothing but good things to say to his father about the VF-18's potential.

"I can imagine that the test filled the whole team with confidence," said the former Stewart driver.

"Kevin said the car feels good, that it suits him well and that they've taken a step forward.

"But when comparing to the others it's just guessing. You have Toro Rosso, Haas, Williams, McLaren and Renault and it's hard to know where you are in that group.

"But the team and Kevin are optimistic," Magnussen Sr. added.

"Now they go to Melbourne so we'll find out."

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