Styrian Grand Prix – Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen say they’re approaching the second Austrian weekend with optimism, due to the improved pace of the VF20.
Despite their double retirement through brake issues during last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Haas are going into the second race at the Red Bull Ring with optimism.
While the single-lap pace of the VF20 doesn’t appear to be particularly strong yet, with both cars qualifying in the lower midfield, the car’s race pace does appear to be stronger than last year’s troubled effort.
“The positive was the pace I had on Sunday and how we were able to maintain it.” said Kevin Magnussen. The Dane was convincingly ahead of some eventual points finishers when his brakes failed into Turn 3 on Lap 26. His pace had slowed in the laps prior to that, due to trying to maintain the brakes.
Yes, I only did 26 laps, but for those laps I had good pace.” Magnussen continued. “Of course, I started to fall off because I was having to save my brakes, but if it hadn’t been for that I’d have been able to push the guys in front. I was in P11 at the time so points were on the table.”
Romain Grosjean struggled with his brakes right from the off, having also had a brake fluid leak on his car on Friday morning. A spin early in the race dropped him right to the back, and he eventually suffered the same fate as Kevin Magnussen when his brakes failed into Turn 4 on Lap 50.
While Grosjean was less likely to score points, he said the Friday long-run pace during FP2 gave the team grounds for optimism: “Our Friday long-run pace was good. It was in line with some of our competitors who finished in the top 10. We need to understand exactly what happened and why we couldn’t repeat that on Sunday. We just need to ensure that a positive Friday translates into Sunday when it counts.”
Team boss Guenther Steiner was less optimistic than his drivers, blaming mistakes for the team’s poor weekend: “Obviously it was very frustrating for us. We didn’t have the pace we wanted to have and retiring two cars is not something nice to do. We have to keep working on the car to get more pace and get the best out of what we have got. We need to reduce mistakes and get an understanding of why what happened – happened. Hard work, it’s the only way we can get out of this situation.”
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