Tyre Issues Leave Magnussen, Grosjean Floundering at the back in Mexico

by Paul Hensby
Kevin Magnussen & Romain Grosjean - Haas F1 Team - Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

The Haas F1 Team endured its least competitive weekend of the 2018 season at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean finishing fifteenth and sixteenth respectively, the final two drivers to see the chequered flag.

Magnussen rose as high as ninth and Grosjean to eleventh ahead of their first pit stops on laps forty-three and forty-four respectively, but neither driver was able to convert that into a top ten finish, with both sliding down to the back of the field as they struggled to preserve their Pirelli tyres.

“We had gotten ourselves into a good position, then we pitted around lap 40,” said Magnussen.  “When we got out onto the Ultrasoft tyre though, it just didn’t work at all.

“I mean, if we want great racing, we need tyres. That just wasn’t possible today with these tyres. It’s tough, but we move on.”

Team-mate Grosjean agreed it was a tough day for everyone as he too struggled with his tyres and made an extra unscheduled pit stop that made no difference to his finishing position.

“It’s been a very tough day,” added Grosjean.  “We didn’t get what we were expecting on the Ultrasofts. On the Supersofts, we made it as good as we could for as long as we could.

“We got the maximum out of the tyre life. Then on the Ultrasofts, we were having problems we were just not expecting. There was a lot of rear degradation. I decided to pit again under the final VSC (Virtual Safety Car).

“It didn’t make a difference in finishing with Kevin. It was very close. Just a tough day.”

Team principal Guenther Steiner was more condemning of the weekend, feeling Haas could take nothing positive away from Mexico, and it is in their best interests to switch their attention onto the Brazilian Grand Prix next month.

“The only good thing about this weekend is that it ended,” said Gunther.  “There’s nothing good to take away from here.

“We were just too slow and we couldn’t get the tyres to work. We move on to the next one.”

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