Romain Grosjean provided his team with a revelation when he powered around Best of the Rest in his Haas, using Melbourne specs! Meaning that whatever the American team had spent (money and time) on development of their package was wasted because they went backwards since the opener in March.
Notably, the Haas driver was only seven-tenths adrift of the benchmark time suggesting that the Big Three teams have not turned up the wick thus far.
Racing Point unbagged a raft of upgrades as they transform their chassis almost entirely in the next two with phase one unleashed today.
Early indications are that there is a significant step up in the right direction as Lance Stroll showed up seventh on the timing screens, less than a tenth off Grosjean – the kind of territory the Canadian youngster has not had the good fortune of playing within this season thus far.
Kimi Raikkonen was eighth fastest in the Alfa Romeo, a fraction quicker than ninth-placed Nico Hulkenberg who was fastest of the Renault powered brigade and the only one of the quartet in the top ten. But the German stopped before the session ended with “a software” issue.
Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten in the other Racing Point, the Mexican a couple of tenths down on his teammate and in a midfield where sixth place to 16th are within a second.