Rate of improvement will rise smoothly - Gutierrez


Esteban Gutierrez officially returned to the cockpit as a works Formula 1 driver yesterday, clocking in 79 laps for Haas' second day of running.

The distance was at the lower end of the amount of running accomplished by most drivers on Tuesday, but more importantly, the session was relatively trouble-free for the US team.

Progressively and methodically, Gutierrez ran through his assigned program while the team cautiously took its time to regularly check its systems, and especially its reinforced front wing, before sending Gutierrez out to complete the scheduled workload.

"It was very special day for me," acknowledged the Mexican on his return to F1.

"During the installation lap it was an incredible to get a feeling for the car, finally, after a lot of months of preparation. We can be very satisfied with the amount of laps we did, and the team did a great job."

Gutierrez praised the new outfit's general approach and diligence while remaining aware that a long working road remained ahead before consistency and performance can prevail.

"It's been quite a challenge, but the atmosphere is quite positive as everybody really has the right approach. But obviously as a new team we need to coordinate ourselves, and that requires experience.

"So far we've done a pretty good job, the guys are working day and night, dedicated to the work and the goals that we have for this test, which is to do as many laps as possible.

"I feel very happy and I feel that the rate of improvement will come up very smoothly for the following week."

Asked about comparing the Haas with his last experience testing at Ferrari, Gutierrez believed there were similarities from a driver's point of view but that under the skin Haas was a work in development.

"We have a very good base, better than I expected to be honest. The characteristics are similar, the driving style and everything. But there are a lot of things on the systems that we really need to fine-tune.

"At the moment we are focusing on mileage as it's very important to build reliability and that's our focus right now."

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