Belgian Grand Prix – Haas’ two cars will run in the same specification for the first time since the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend at Spa.
Following a three race mid-season decision to run their cars in two different specifications for data gathering and comparison purposes, the Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean will race with identical spec cars again from this weekend.
Following the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, Haas made the decision to split their car specs. While Kevin Magnussen raced at Silverstone, Hockenheim and Hungaroring with the latest specification and updated parts on his VF-19, Romain Grosjean drove with the car in Melbourne-spec, ie. as it was at the very start of the season.
This was with the intent of finding out where Haas’ development program has gone awry over the first half of 2019, with Grosjean’s pace with the old spec frequently on par or better than Magnussen’s with the new spec.
Following the summer shutdown, Haas feel they have now got a handle on where they went wrong and, as a result, the split specification experimentation comes to an end.
As a result, Grosjean and Magnussen’s VF-19s will be identical at Spa and will run a refined version of the spec used by Magnussen in Germany and Hungary.
Team boss Guenther Steiner explained the decision, saying: “For Spa, we will go with the upgraded car, which we ran at Hockenheim. We’ve learned quite a bit out of it and tried to improve the car by changing some of the components. Both cars will be the same spec, and hopefully we can still learn more about it.”
With just nine races remaining in the championship, Haas’ chances of retaining P5 in the Constructor’s Championship are becoming ever more slim. With 2019 having become an exercise in trying to figure out their own car’s problems, Steiner says the updates remaining this year are likely to only be small and incremental: “The focus has already switched, partly, to the 2020 car. We need to see what we can come up with in the wind tunnel, with the small developments we do there for the 2019 car, and if we bring any upgrade kits. We don’t know yet.”