Romain Grosjean says the brake-by-wire issue that hampered his progress on day three of the final pre-season test surfaced as Haas tried finding more speed on its maiden F1 car.
The Frenchman endured a disjointed Thursday and ended up causing three red flags in Barcelona. After enjoying a smooth debut, the US team is experiencing a tougher second test, having been blighted by a fuel system issue on the opening day and its turbo on Wednesday.
Asked about the latest problem and how it affected the Haas VF-16’s brake-by-wire system, Grosjean replied:
“This is a very, very complicated system. We had a [similar] problem in 2014 with Lotus. I know the car is going a bit quicker this week so we are finding more issues on that system and we need to get on top of things because that’s hurting us in terms of preparation, performance and setting up the car. But we’re on it.”
Despite the disrupted running, Grosjean still managed to complete 78 laps and sample the red-walled super-soft Pirelli tyre for the first time. However, the 29-year-old admits he grew more tentative under braking after the issue surfaced.
“I wasn’t 100 percent confident when I got back on track and had to brake for Turn 1. I probably braked 20 metres earlier than I should have, but it’s part of the life. We knew we would have problems. I did not expect to spin at 300 but it happens sometimes.”
Grosjean added that the latest setback made it hard for the American newcomers to assess how much progress it has made since last week.
“When you have a problem on the braking everything is out of order after that. But the aerodynamic side, the chassis side, everything feels pretty much the same.
“We’ve made long stints this morning and the tyre degradation was good, that was a positive of the day. The negative is that we need to find out how to improve the system.
“Hopefully overnight we can do a big update. We have really seen today what’s the problem and for the first time we know where it comes from, so hopefully for tomorrow we have some fix. That will help us a lot.”
Grosjean will return behind the wheel of the Haas VF-16 for the final day of pre-season testing on Friday.