Austrian Grand Prix – Haas’ team boss Guenther Steiner says that his team are going into every race in the dark about whether they’ll be competitive or not.
Haas head to Austria on the back of a calamitous French Grand Prix where neither Kevin Magnussen nor Romain Grosjean could even break convincingly into the top fifteen, let alone the top ten. Despite having a fast car, the Pirelli compounds of 2019 appear to have flummoxed the team and Steiner has already admitted that understanding the tyres is proving to be their biggest headache in 2019.
Asked about his team’s prospects for Austria, Steiner said they genuinely can’t predict it: “I don’t think anymore about the tyres – if they work or not, I always wait for Fridays. Then I get a little bit closer to knowing what they’re doing, but we have no confidence in saying when and where they’ll work on our car.”
“Wth the struggles we have with the tyres this year, I would not jump to the conclusion to say we can take the data we get from France and take it to Austria. The Austrian track is a different layout and the tarmac roughness is different.”
This weekend marks one year since Haas’ best ever finish in Formula 1, with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen claiming P4 & P5 respectively. Due to the unpredictable nature of Haas’ competitiveness this year, Steiner says he can’t tell whether such a strong finish is possible again this year: “When you’ve got a good car and you find the right setup, it’s pretty easy to do. There were a few retirements in the race from the big three teams in front of us and we finished as we did. Once you’ve done it, it seems to be easy. But to get there, it’s very difficult. I don’t know if we can achieve it this year, but for sure we’ll be trying.”