Haas’ team boss Guenther Steiner says he’s hopeful that his team have eliminated their electrical gremlins which caused numerous stops out on track during the first week of pre-season testing.
Haas may have enjoyed respectable pace throughout the first week of testing in Barcelona, but they did appear to be struggling a little on the reliability front. Romain Grosjean brought out the red flags on Day 1 with a fuel pressure problem, before Day 3 saw three stoppages for the team.
First, Pietro Fittipaldi stopped out on track with an ignition coil problem, before Romain Grosjean broke down early in the afternoon session with the same problem. While he got back out on track shortly after, he caused the day to end under a red flag again when he stopped with four minutes of the day to go.
Steiner explained that the issue had been tricky to find and sort, but they appear to have succeeded in doing so:
“In general, last week, we had a few issues with some of the electronics which seem to be sorted. It was a very difficult problem to find – it was one of these gremlins which are sometimes there. So we figured that one out and we seem to be going a lot smoother now. Hopefully, we can continue and then see where we stack up performance wise.”
Speaking as Kevin Magnussen occupied P5 on the morning timesheets on the opening day of the second test, he explained that “It’s still a bit too early to tell, performance-wise, where we are. ”
“It’s been smooth so far, and so it should be. This is our fourth year and we need to improve. Everyone’s improving when you see how many laps everyone is running. So it’s nothing we should be surprised at – Formula 1 is getting better. 15 years ago, testing was all about ‘how often did you break down’? Now it’s all about ‘we need to get going’ – 160 laps is an average day now! Years ago, if you did 100 laps, you were looking for the podium! Now 100 laps is ‘yeah, it’s alright’.”