Hungarian Grand Prix – Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says that updates made during the summer should see their car perform much better at the Hungaroring than Monte Carlo.
Haas are coming off the back of four strong races in Europe, with points finishes in France, Austria, Britain & Germany. Having introduced car upgrades for the previous round in Canada, Haas had been expectant of a strong middle section of the year and they duly delivered on that. However, the Monaco Grand Prix in May was a different story – both cars struggled for pace and grip throughout the entire weekend at Monte Carlo. The circuit, tight and twisty, shares a lot of characteristics with the Hungaroring, where F1 touches down for Round 12 of this year’s Championship.
Asked about whether Haas are heading to Hungary expecting to struggle with the low speed nature of Hungaroring, Steiner explained that the team’s pace through the stadium section at Hockenheim gave them encouragement that they had rectified the issues they had in Monaco: “I never go in beaten to a race already. We know what happened in Monte Carlo. We analyzed that one and we know where we ended up. We know the reasons, and they will not happen in this race. We might not be as good as on the high-speed tracks, but I don’t think we’ll be really bad. We knew what went wrong in the races that went wrong for us.”
“We’ve got a lot of talented people who can analyze all that and do better. How much better we can do, I don’t know. For sure, we are not going in beaten, saying we cannot achieve anything here. Our car, and our drivers, are good enough to get good results at all the tracks. Some are better than others, but nothing will hopefully be as bad as Monte Carlo.”
Romain Grosjean was one of the stars of Hockenheim, overtaking several cars in the closing stages of the German Grand Prix to finish in P6. Having made a late switch to fresh UltraSofts after a miscalled change to Intermediates, Steiner explained that Haas’ ever increasing experience with tyre usage is playing a critical role in how they achieve their strong results:
“It’s just having more experience, and having filled the position we didn’t have before of the tire engineer, and time. Experience comes with time, and you cannot buy time. So, some things take a little bit longer. By no means are we perfect yet, but we are a lot better than last year. We can be even better, like some teams are better than us, but for sure we are not the weakest ones in the field now on tire management and tire understanding.”