Haas F1's development driver Santino Ferrucci has revealed that he finds 2017 Formula 1 machinery as "a bit scary at times". This follows his first time behind the wheel of the Haas VF-17 F1 car at the Hungaroring last week.
Ferrucci joined Haas at the start of 2016 and drove the VF-16 at Silverstone whilst also competing in the very competitive GP3 Series for DAMS. Recently the 19 year old stepped up to F1's feeder series, Formula 2, driving in Hungary for Trident alongside Nabil Jeffri.
"Everything is a massive step, GP3 to F2 was huge," said Ferrucci. "On carbon brakes [in F2], my first push lap out I broke 30 metres too early, looked up, was at the 50 and had to get back on the gas. It was an experience, to get in [the F1] car, I was just getting used to the brakes in F2, in F1 the braking point is roughly the same, it wasn't that big a step.
"What's more of a step is the high speed, the F1 car is just nothing like anything [else]," he added. "You're carrying 30 or 40 km/h more in every turn, from fourth and fifth gear [corners] upwards, and that's the hardest part to get used to."
Ferrucci continued, talking about his progress behind the wheel of the VF-17: "With low-speed and mid-speed I'm pretty sure I'm really on the limit, or within a km/h or two," he said. "In the high speed, obviously every lap I go through it's like half a km/h more, half a km/h more. The problem is though, when you find that limit, when you lose the car, you just kind of hit the brakes and hold on and try and keep it out of the way.
"This car on the limit, it can be a bit scary at times," he admitted, "so in the high-speed I prefer to just back off a few km/h and lose a tenth and be safe rather than risk it every lap."
Ferrucci's words after testing the 2017 Haas mirrored his attitudes last year after his maiden F1 test, where he revealed that he was "a little bit frightened" about driving in the wet, suggesting that the American lacks some of the necessary confidence that a racing driver needs when behind the wheel.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing