Rich Energy Haas F1 Team boss Guenther Steiner is hopeful that the soft Pirelli compounds that will be in use for the Monaco Grand Prix can help the team continue their form from the last round in Spain.
Haas achieved their first double points finish of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix, where both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean clinching a strong result for the American team. The Haas squad prior to Barcelona had only managed one points finish, coming at the season opener in Australia.
The two Haas cars during the final stages of the race almost came close to contact as Grosjean attempted to pass his team-mate at Turn 1. The Frenchman was forced to use the escape road but lived to fight another day, although Steiner wasn’t too pleased with the two drivers’ near confrontation as after the race, Steiner radioed both Magnussen and Grosjean to come and see him straight after the race.
Despite the close confrontation, Haas have improved within the constructors’ standings with the American team now sixth overall ahead of rivals Renault, Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso.
Steiner says the double points finish in Barcelona creates a ‘boost’ of confidence for the team and helps with the potential going forward into the next round at Monaco.
“Obviously, having a result like this boosts the confidence of the whole team, because the previous three races were not very good at all. We didn’t score any points,” said Steiner.
“A result like Barcelona, where we had a very good weekend – it’s a big boost – and it gives us confidence with the potential of the car going forward.”
Haas’ poor start to the season has been mainly getting the Pirelli tyres to operate with the VF-19. In the opening four races, Magnussen’s sixth place in Melbourne was their only points finish with Grosjean yet to finish in the top ten.
They managed to overcome their dip in form and in Barcelona alongside some new upgrades, manage to get their car working with the tyres and as a result, saw the two Haas cars grab their first points.
With the Monaco Grand Prix on the horizon, Pirelli will start to introduce the softest tyres available to the Grands Prix, meaning we’ll see the C4-C5 ranges come into play at the Principality and at the next round in Canadia.
Having struggled with the tyres earlier in the season, Steiner felt that the change of race track layouts helped the team get the tyres working and expects the softer tyres used in Monaco and Canada to be more easier to get them up to temperature.
“The biggest difference is the layout of the racetrack. The Barcelona track allows quite a lot of energy into the tyres, 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 tyres 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 tyres to work and get a good result.”
Steiner hopes the team can work with the softest Pirelli tyre available and continue their momentum from Barcelona.
“I think the biggest difference for Monte Carlo will be the choice of the tyre. We’re running the C4 and C5s from Pirelli – the softest types of tires we can use.
“With those tyres, 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.”