The Frenchman admitted: “I don’t really know where this performance came from. In all fairness, it’s the same car from the beginning of the year, we’ve just been making some good set-up work since Silverstone.
"The performance there was really good, but it was power sensitive, here that’s maybe a little less. Sixth in FP1, fifth in FP2, then the long-run pace was pretty good too – we’re really happy with all that. There’s a little bit more work to be done on the car to bring it more to my liking.
"I hope nothing changes though, I hope this all stays the same so tomorrow we can go for a really good qualifying session – that would definitely set up a good weekend.”
Team-mate Kevin Magnussen failed to complete a problem free timed run and ended the day 16th, but the Dane also felt it had been a positive day.
He commented: "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. 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 tires, but it seems to be working.
As a team, Haas has scored only a single point in the 2020 Formula 1 season to date.
Team principal Guenther Steiner had been hopeful the Spanish Grand Prix would present a chance to improve this statistic, and his confidence has been buoyed by the Friday results.
Steiner added: "We’ve always been relatively good here in Barcelona, I don’t know the reason why. I was cautiously optimistic in testing at the beginning of the year, and this shows that I wasn’t wrong.
"So, it looks encouraging but I’m not getting over-enthusiastic about it yet because we still have to qualify on Saturday and race on Sunday.
"There are still a lot of things we need to get right – which we could get wrong, so I don’t want to be negative. But overall, I think this is a big boost for the team."
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