Haas confident of rectifying 2019 woes

by Findlay Grant
Haas F1 Team VF-20

Haas F1 Team are confident they will be able to right the woes which plagued their 2019 Formula 1 campaign.

Drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean seemed to have differing opinions in terms of its drivability and performance; the former considered the VF-19 to be “very, very good”, after he was able to finish sixth in the opening round of the season.

Grosjean, in contrast, called it “bl**dy undriveable” on one occasion, after which they ended up ninth in the Championship standings.

The American outfit fought it out with the Renault F1 Team for the most of the 2018 season, finishing fifth in the Championship, which made them hopeful for an even better result last year.

Team principal Guenther Steiner said their problems were caused simply by a poorly-developed car.

“We just went wrong in the development of the car,” said the Italian, in an interview with Formula1.com.

Pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya set them in good stead for the start of the season, with Magnussen finishing in sixth at Albert Park. It was not to be, however, as the car had dropped way down the order in Bahrain.

The team hoped they would be able to turn around their mediocre results with an upgrade they were planning to bring for the Spanish Grand Prix, as their data had implied, but this was not the case.

The two drivers did not find the upgrade to be effective, and the data confirmed this belief. Nevertheless, the car was competitive, so they decided to keep pushing forward, which didn’t help matters.

“We have to be more critical of ourselves,” said Steiner. “When we brought the upgrade to Barcelona, the drivers weren’t sure about it.

No one was brave enough to say ‘this doesn’t work’ because the car was quick. The data didn’t look good, but the car was quick.

“So what do you believe? The good things, of course. It’s the wrong thing to do. Barcelona is a special circuit, which our car works very well on. We pushed on and once we realised we were in the wrong direction, it was too late… If we had been brave in Barcelona, we wouldn’t have been where we are now.”

Haas ended the season ninth in the Championship, with a mere 28 points, finishing ahead of only Williams Racing, marking their worst result for their three years in the sport to date.

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