Monaco Grand Prix – Haas’ team boss Guenther Steiner says that using Pirelli’s softest tyre compounds for this weekend should play into their car’s strengths.
Haas head into the Monaco Grand Prix with a little more optimism than the preceding races, after seemingly getting on top of their ongoing tyre woes. After a reasonable season opener in Australia, the following three race weekends fell apart for Haas as they couldn’t get the tyres to work, particularly in race conditions.
The Spanish Grand Prix saw the team roll out upgrades which seem to have rectified those issues, with Kevin Magnussen storming home to P7 and Romain Grosjean to P10 after the pair had a hard fought battle in the closing stages of the race. While there was some initial fallout between the two drivers due to the aggressive nature of their battle, this now seems to have been cleared up with Steiner saying they had cleared the air.
Explaining the updates to the VF19, Steiner said that direct comparisons of spec in Barcelona showed a clear step forward: “We had the possibility to do the back-to-back with the two cars, between what we now call the old spec and the new spec. It’s always good to know what you’re doing and if it works, so if you can do a back-to-back it’s always the best way to do it. You can prove things. Data’s data obviously, and the wind tunnel’s the wind tunnel, but the car is the car. We utilized this to our advantage and tested both specs of car. We came out clearly that the upgrade kit is better, so that’s why we then put it on Kevin’s car for Saturday and Sunday.”
Steiner openly says that Monaco, and the next round in Canada, won’t be easy but that the use of the softest compound Pirellis will help them by being easier to get up to temperature: “The biggest difference for Monte Carlo will be the choice of the tire. We’re running the C4 and C5s from Pirelli – the softest types of tires we can use. With those tires, we hope we can get the temperature into them and have a good result. We have to try, and we’ll only find out on Thursday what is happening.”
As for why that might be the case, he said: “The biggest difference is the layout of the racetrack. The Barcelona track allows quite a lot of energy into the tires, and therefore we could heat them up, which didn’t happen in the other three races. We were pretty confident coming to Barcelona that it would work but, again, we needed to prove it, and we know now that at circuits like this it works. Hopefully going forward, by using the softer type of tires over the next few races, that will help as well, and we can get the heat into the tire. Monte Carlo and Canada will not be easy for us, but we will try our best to get the tires to work and get a good result.”