Romain Grosjean has not scored a Formula 1 point in 383 days but Haas’ form through Friday in Spain suggested that run might be coming to a conclusion.
Haas’ form tailed off through 2019 and this year the team has struggled for one-lap performance, compromising its race prospects, with Grosjean yet to trouble the top 10.
But at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Grosjean displayed strong pace through both practice sessions, taking sixth in FP1 and fifth in FP2.
It meant Haas, ninth in the Constructors’ Championship, finished the day with the fourth-fastest car, behind only Mercedes, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
“Is it real? Pinch me! I don’t know, in all fairness I don’t know,” said Grosjean.
“No one really knows – it’s the same car as it was since the beginning of the year.
“We’ve done some good set-up work into Silverstone and so on I think Silverstone the performance was really good but it was a bit power sensitive, here it’s maybe less.
“And yeah, sixth in FP1, fifth in FP2, the long run pace was really good. We’re really happy with that and there is some more work we can do on the car to bring it even more to my liking it but generally, what a day.”
Kevin Magnussen classified 16th but was just six-tenths down on his team-mate and reckoned a sub-par Soft tyre run distorted the picture.
“I didn’t get a great run on low fuel in FP2, so my best lap time doesn’t look good, but Romain showed what’s in the car,” he said.
“Running on high fuel, it was all very positive. The car seems to be working very well around here.
“It’s been very hot, there’s a lot of heat in the tyres, but it seems to be working. I think this track obviously suits us a little better. I’m pretty positive and very happy with today.”