Italian Grand Prix – Haas’ Kevin Magnussen says his team are unlikely to get a handle on their ongoing tyre issues before the end of the season.
Haas have been struggling to understand the tyres throughout 2019, encountering constant issues with getting them into the working window. This is extreme to the point of the team achieving excellent Q3 qualifying results, but fading backwards in the race to finish in the bottom quarter of the field.
Speaking ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Magnussen reflected on his Belgian race where he qualified P10 and went on to finish P12 and a lap down: “Another one of those races, we qualified well and went backwards in the race. The second stint was good, we lost everything in the first stint – no pace on the C3 tyre but plenty of pace on the C2. Hard to explain, but it was good. When the car works, it works very very well. Hopefully it’ll work all this weekend.”
Asked about whether Haas understood the problems after running comparative spec cars through the three Grands Prix prior to the summer break, Magnussen said: “Our understanding of the problem is getting better and better. It’s not like there’s quick fix. The full fix will probably only be seen, hopefully, in 2020 with the new car. We’ll try to make the best of what we’ve got this year and control the problem and score more points. It’s not easy.”
“It’s easy to say the tyres aren’t working, it’s more we aren’t making the tyres work with the car.” Magnussen continued. There’s some mismatch and there’s a whole lot of factors that mean we can’t make the tyres work. Other teams are, so it’s not the tyres as such. Everyone has the same. They’re not great tyres, but other teams are making them work. We’ll fix it at some point, but just not right now.”
Outlining how confusing the situation is for the team, he said: “It’s very hard to understand. The C3 tyre in Belgium didn’t seem to be working, we couldn’t get it up into the window. Then we put a harder tyre on, a stiffer one, and it works – it was in the window. It doesn’t make any sense, I don’t know, I’m confused!”