Haas puzzled by recent lack of race pace

Haas boss Guenther Steiner says the team is struggling to find an answer for its lack of race pace at the last two races.

The Chinese Grand Prix was the second race in a row Haas had both cars qualify in the top ten but fail to score any points on Sunday. The American team came into the season looking like the strongest team in the midfield but has so far failed to live up to that billing, despite clearly having a quick car over one lap, with just six points to its name from Kevin Magnussen’s drive to sixth in Australia.

“Same as Bahrain, very similar,” Steiner said about Haas’ lack of pace in Shanghai. “You could all see it. We went out on new tires when they had heat in them, and it was fine, then going on… that’s it.

“We tried but we didn’t fix it. We understood the problem after Bahrain but we couldn’t fix it in time for here; we still need to work on it. We need to keep on working and try and find a solution to our big issue.”

Steiner does not think there is a short-term solution and is readying himself for more of the same at next week’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“We didn’t have this in winter testing, as the track is completely different to this tracks like Bahrain, here and Baku. Baku is even worse. I’m readying myself for the disappointment. I hope we find something before Baku. At these race tracks we can’t get energy into the tyre.”

The problem revolves around the Haas car and its ability to get heat into its tyres, which is crucial in unlocking peak performance from them. That is especially problematic at circuits with certain characteristics.

“It’s high-speed tracks with long straights and low energy corners where we can’t get the heat into the tires. That’s what it is.

“In winter testing, even if it was cold in Barcelona, you load the tires a lot, you have energy to put in, you can keep the heat in it. In Australia, the temperature is higher and it was fine. But in Bahrain and China, it just doesn’t work.”

When it was suggested the issue could have been down to poor vehicle dynamics, the term for how a car responds to inputs while in motion, he replied: “It’s a combination.

“It’s not vehicle dynamics, it’s combination of everything. You cannot put down to vehicle dynamics. It’s aero, it’s everything, there is a lot of things going on here. Otherwise it would be too easy.

“You go to the windtunnel, you try to find energy to put into the tires in one way or another – aero-wise, brake cooling or brake heating-wise, or vehicle dynamics-wise – but we don’t have the solution at the moment.

“Once we have it, I’ll tell you how we did it. But at the moment, we need to find. It’s not just one thing.”

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