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Grosjean hit by electrical problems in Friday practice

Haas F1 Team, Romain Grosjean, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
© XPB 

It wasn't exactly the best of times for the Haas F1 Team in Friday practice ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Romain Grosjean was only able to complete 12 laps in the evening session before spinning and flat-spotting his tyres. More worryingly, he told the team that something "smelled super hot" in the cockpit.

Grosjean headed back to the pits, and took no further part in the session as the engineers looked into the problem.

“The morning was good, the afternoon wasn’t," Grosjean summarised at the end of practice. "We struggled to get everything to work when night fell.

"We then had an electrical issue which stopped our day," he continued. "That clearly wasn’t ideal as FP2 is the only representative session for qualifying and the race.

"We’re going to put everything we can together to find a solution for tomorrow," he pledged.

“A mixed day," said team principal Guenther Steiner. "FP1 was not so bad. FP2 we had one problem with Romain’s car – an electrical problem."

Perhaps an even bigger issue for Steiner was the problem the team had getting the tyres to 'switch on' in the cooler evening conditions.

"We struggled to get the ultrasoft tyre to work, so we didn’t get a good lap time [in FP2]", he explained. "I’m sure the guys will work hard tonight to find a solution for not having the tyre working.

"Otherwise, in the morning the car wasn’t performing too bad," he added. "For tomorrow, everything is possible."

Kevin Magnussen missed the morning session in favour of test and development driver Antonio Giovinazzi.

“It was a decent session with plenty of laps," reported Magnussen. "We do still have a few things we need to work on overnight so we’re better prepared for tomorrow.

"Hopefully, we can find some more pace and get a better result in our qualifying run."

At least Giovinazzi was happy with how the day had gone. He completed 21 laps in the VF-17 and was 18th fastest with a time of 1:42.065s putting him ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Brendon Hartley.

"It’s been really great for me to be in the car and try to help the team. It was a good last session for me," said Giovinazzi, who is still hoping for a race seat at Sauber in 2018.

"I hope the team is really happy with the job that I did. That was always my first target when I started these FP1 sessions.

"Now the season is done. We’ll see what we can do next year.”

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