Esteban Gutierrez is aiming to score points at the Australian Grand Prix for Haas F1, the team’s first race weekend in Formula 1.
Despite a topsy-turvy time in testing at Barcelona, which featured a front-wing failure, brake issues, and electrical issues, the team still managed to impress greatly by completing 412 laps throughout the eight days of testing.
“First of all, we need to find out how competitive we are,” explained Gutierrez, when asked what his goals are for the season opener in Australia.
“I hope we are as competitive and as good as the car feels, but we need to maximise and optimise what we have.
“Our target is clear – to achieve points. It is quite ambitious as a new team, but that’s what we’re targeting and we’ll work very hard to achieve it.”
The Australian Grand Prix will be Gutierrez’s first race back in F1 since 2014, when he raced for Sauber.
During testing in Barcelona the Mexican racer greatly enjoyed the feel of Haas F1’s new VF-16 machine, and has stated that the new car immediately felt great, boosting his confidence ahead of Australia.
“I love driving it,” continued Gutierrez, when asked to describe the new car.
“It’s very enjoyable. I’ve had cars in the past which were difficult to fine tune in order to get a good feeling where you can anticipate, where you can push the car to the limit.
“The VF-16, straight away had a good feeling. As a baseline, that’s always a good sign. It’s a great car.”
Whilst Gutierrez is aiming for points at the Australian Grand Prix, team principal Guenther Steiner is remaining realistic with his goals.
“Our goal is to have both cars finish, to show that we can compete and be proud of what we are doing,” explained Steiner.