Romain Grosjean has praised the positive mentality at Haas during its debut Formula One season, saying it has allowed him to drive without fear of making mistakes.
The American outfit made a stunning start to its maiden F1 campaign as Grosjean claimed sixth place at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, before going one position better in Bahrain. While the team's results faded as the year went on -- particularly when it faced a series of brake issues -- Haas managed points on three further occasions to secure an impressive eighth place in the constructors' standings.
Grosjean failed to capitalise on Haas' best qualifying result of the season in Brazil when he crashed out on his way to the grid in treacherous conditions, but says he never felt under pressure to limit his driving style simply because he was driving for a new team.
"It's a great atmosphere actually -- it's a very good mentality," Grosjean revealed. "Everyone is allowed to push; everyone is allowed to do mistakes. After Brazil I called Gene to apologise and say 'I'm very sorry, I made a mistake', and he told me 'I'm sure you feel it as much as I do so no worries, we see you in two weeks in Abu Dhabi'.
"I made a mistake, crashed the car on the laps to the grid, no one was happy, but there wasn't finger pointing saying you did a big mistake, well don't do it again but let's go to the next race."
The Frenchman -- who scored all 29 points Haas recorded in 2016 -- believes the team has been able to improve and learn from its mistakes due to the Kannapolis-based squad's open approach, something he hinted was missing at his previous team, Renault.
"I would say that here, if someone does a mistake, [it's] fine as long as he doesn't repeat it and he moves forward. We are open and there is no non-discussed business. Everything is discussed with no finger pointing, with no problem, with no argument. You've made a mistake, move on, learn from it and let's keep going.
"That for a new team is great because everybody is able to use their full potential, not thinking 'Oh I'm going to stay at 80 percent because if I do a mistake it's going to be bad' -- no, everyone does 100 percent and if we do a mistake then fine, just don't do it again. Learn from it."