Kevin Magnussen feels the Haas F1 Team are having a much stronger season in 2018 not only because of having a better car, but because they have a better understanding of how to use Pirelli’s range of tyres, and he pinpoints that to the addition of Hiroshi Tomitsuka to the team.
Tomitsuka is a former Bridgestone tyre engineer and he has helped Haas overcome the troubles they had in their opening two campaigns when it came to understanding the Pirelli rubber, and Magnussen says it is a huge advantage to have someone with a great knowledge of tyres to aid them across every race weekend.
The results of 2018 have been impressive from Haas, with fifty-one points scored in the opening ten rounds, more than they’ve scored in either season so far and still with eleven races to run, including this weekend’s German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring.
“Obviously we have a better car this year, that’s more consistent, and the aero is stronger in terms of consistency as well, but I think one of the biggest factors is the tyre guy we got,” Magnussen is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.
“Tomi-san is a really big addition to the team. The understanding of tyres and just managing that is a lot better this year, which is also adding to the consistency – more so than the outright pace.
“[The] Pirelli is a very complicated tyre, it’s a difficult tyre to manage – not only from a driving point of view, but also in terms of setting the car up with temperatures in the rims, managing the race, and strategy-wise, switching the tyres on with the driving style on the out laps.
“There’s a lot of science – you need someone with experience of tyres to try and understand the Pirellis, because it’s not that easy to understand. It’s certainly a massive advantage having someone to help you understand. With his experience with other tyre manufacturers it’s easier to try and understand, you get there quicker.
“Every weekend it’s a new tarmac, it’s different temperatures, it’s different tyre compounds, different set-up on the car, so you have to re-learn every time, and the tyres behave differently, so having someone there with great experience who just has the kind of eye for tyres is a great help.”