Lack of Top Speed Hinders Haas in Spa as Magnussen, Grosjean Miss out on Points

by Paul Hensby

Guenther Steiner admitted seeing his Haas F1 Team finish twelfth and thirteenth in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix was disappointing, with a lack of top speed hindering both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

Grosjean ran as high as sixth in the opening stint but found himself behind Daniel Ricciardo after his pit stop, with the Frenchman unable to make any kind of pass on the Renault F1 Team driver as he struggled to get close enough down the long straights due to the downforce levels on his VF-19 being too much.

This left him vulnerable as other drivers on fresher tyres and with better straight-line speed, meaning he lost a number of positions, finishing behind team-mate Magnussen, who dropped down the order himself early on after a gamble on a long first stint failed to pay off.

Steiner, the Team Principal of Haas, reflected on a poor result where points were potentially on the cards early on, but despite falling further behind the midfield pack in the Constructors’ Championship, he says they will continue to fight across the remaining eight races of 2019.

“Obviously, a disappointing result at the end – to finish where we were,” said Steiner.  “Romain (Grosjean) just couldn’t get past Ricciardo at the right time because we’re lacking top speed.

“We got overtaken by everybody. We were stuck behind Ricciardo, who was going slow, and we could not defend from the people going past us, and we couldn’t attack. Almost the only place to pass, at turn five, you need top speed coming from the straight, and that was our problem today. Otherwise, the car was performing, but it wasn’t good enough obviously on top speed.

“We still have work to do. I think we can get close to what we need to do, we just have to keep on working. Everybody did a good job and we just have to try to keep on fighting. That’s what we’ll do.”

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