Haas Car ‘Felt a Lot Better’ after Reverting to Melbourne Package – Grosjean

by Paul Hensby

The Haas F1 Team will continue to use different aerodynamic specifications on each of its cars this weekend at the Hockenheimring for the German Grand Prix, with Romain Grosjean continuing to use the Melbourne-spec as opposed to the Barcelona-spec Kevin Magnussen will utilise.

The team took the same approach in the British Grand Prix, although the chance to analyse comparison’s in race conditions were nullified by a first lap collision between the two team-mates, but up to then, Grosjean admitted he felt better using the older specification at Silverstone.

Despite the downforce levels being lessened by reverting back to the Melbourne-spec, Grosjean felt happier in the medium and high-speed corners, something the team has been struggling with since they brought the update in Barcelona that has been used ever since.

“It was a good test to do,” said Grosjean.  “It was a tough call from the team, but a good test.

“When we brought the upgrade in Barcelona, I wanted to revert back on the Friday evening.  For me, the feeling was not so good from the rear end, especially through medium- and high-speed corners. The feeling hasn’t been good in those corners since then.

“Going back to the Melbourne package, the car felt a lot better in those regions. It shows that something was not working as expected. Now the aero guys are looking into it, but we know it’s been our weakness.

“Obviously, that launch package has some limitations also. It has less downforce, but it has better stability.”

Team-mate Magnussen will remain with the most recent package in Germany and he hopes they can not only find answers to why their performances have been so under par, but also some additional pace at the same time.

“We’re still looking to experiment and learn as much as possible with the issues we’re having,” said Magnussen.  “Hopefully, the upgrades we bring to Hockenheim will give us not only more answers, but also more performance.” 

Grosjean is still seeking that first, really positive result of 2019 having scored only two points in the first ten races, but even if that breakthrough comes this weekend at the Hockenheimring, it will not change his mindset as he strives to give his maximum every time he’s behind the wheel of the VF-19.

“It doesn’t change much, to be fair,” admits the Frenchman.  “I go to Hockenheim with the same objective as always. I’m always trying to do my best, get a good race and be proud of what you’ve done.

“If it’s a top-10, great. But if it’s not, you’ve given your maximum.”

Magnussen hopes to end the first half of the season with a pair of positive results in Germany and Hungary, but he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, particularly with how up and down his season has been.

“It would be pretty awesome if we could finish off the first half of the season on a high,” said the Dane.  “But, obviously, we need to go in with realistic expectations and keep focused on our objective, which is to try and learn and understand in order to be able to perform at a high level as soon as possible.” 

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