Mechanical problems for Haas in Melbourne masked the potential of a car Romain Grosjean believes can challenge Williams at the front of the midfield. On the back of a relatively successful debut season, Haas are aiming high this year and have shown promise in preseason testing and free practice. Other than the still reoccurring problem of their brakes, the team was looking strong this weekend. Until the race. Grosjean had scored Haas’ best qualifying to date on Saturday, starting sixth on the grid, whilst multiple scruffy laps from Kevin Magnussen saw his teammate start far back down the order in seventeenth. From there, things started to go downhill for Haas. Magnussen collided with Marcus Ericsson at the start of the race, sustaining damage that would eventually lead to his retirement. Grosjean’s problem is a little more confusing. The Frenchman had been running in seventh, having lost a place to Felipe Massa at the start of the race, when the car suffered a water leak. The team are unsure as to the cause of the problem, but it cost Grosjean a promising finish. “I suddenly lost a lot of power. I told the guys, then the next thing I knew I had to slow down the car,” he said. “It’s a pretty disappointing result but, again, right now I’m hot and we’re all disappointed to lose a seventh place position, but the car was there in qualifying.” Of course, there’s no guarantee Grosjean would have kept the position, with Carlos Sainz already pressuring the Frenchman at the start of the race. But Grosjean is confident the car is competitive. “I felt I was faster than the Williams, so there’s huge potential in the car,” he said. “I guess the key for us is to keep the momentum and get the consistency we didn’t have last year, where I’d be fifth in Bahrain then nineteenth in China. I really want to improve on that and get more consistency in terms of results. If we do that, then I’m sure there are going to be plenty of races where we can score good points. “I’m feeling it right now, but tomorrow I’m going to wake up thinking ‘you know what, we’ve got a great car’ so, no matter what, we’ve got a great car. We’re going to be there this year.” For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members. Do you think Haas can challenge Williams? What did you make of the team’s weekend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.