Grosjean happy with smooth qualifying run

© XPB 

Romain Grosjean and Haas achieved their best qualifying performance to date today in Suzuka with the Frenchman set to line up 8th on tomorrow's grid.

It was also the first time the American squad saw both its cars run in the top-ten shootout with Esteban Guttierrez clinching P10.

Grosjean has ecstatic with his performance, even suggesting that a bit more speed could have been extricated from his Ferrari-powered VF-16.

"I feel pretty good after that and I’m very pleased for the whole team," said the Frenchman.

"We brought all the updates we had. We made the new front wing work on the car and that made a difference in qualifying. The whole session went very smoothly.

"I didn’t get my DRS (Drag Reduction System) on the last stretch of the final corner. But, we’re here and tomorrow’s a long race at a very difficult track.

Based on his run in the morning's free practice, Grosjean admitted he wasn't sure what to expect for the afternoon session.

"It was very close going into Q3. I didn't think we could match the Force India clearly and beat the Williams.

"There are a lot of things we can do in the future to get better but when we can put everything together like today, we have a car that I like."

The result was a satisfying consolation for Grosjean whose recent outings have been marred by persistent and worrying brake issues which he believes Haas' and its supplier are addressing.

"I've always been very sensible with the brakes, and to me that's the way to go fast. Clearly this weekend we had issues with the retardation, the bite and so on.

"There are a few things we can do on our side but generally we haven't been 100 percent happy with them [the supplier].

"The failure in Malaysia wasn't very nice. There are a few things we can improve in that area but again, it's our first year and it's always very hard for us to assess what is the best set-up to start with."

Grosjean insisted however that tyres, or rather their  efficient management, will still be on Haas' agenda for tomorrow.

"Tyre degradation will be very important. The tyres are very complicated to drive compared to last year.

"If you are aggressive in your driving style the front end just washes out, and when you really want to push hard, they go. That's not ideal. Hopefully, if the balance is as good tomorrow as it was today, we should be fine."

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