Haas F1 Team suffered in the first race of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the Austrian Grand Prix, as they suffered a double retirement with Grosjean labelling the car “very tricky car to drive”.
The team had a nightmare race weekend with both drivers not finishing due to brake issues, Kevin Magnussen was the first to retire from the on lap 25, bringing out the first safety car of the day, Romain Grosjean retired on lap 49.
Grosjean started in fifteenth place and struggled with his brakes throughout the race before his retirement, “The brakes went – we had been nursing them since lap one, looking after them,” he commented. “Obviously, something is not quite on the right level on the cooling, so we have to work and sort that out for next week.”
While the issue with the brakes ultimately put the Frenchman out of the race, Grosjean revealed that it wasn’t his biggest worry.
“I think one of the main concerns is the pace, it was a very tricky car to drive today, especially in traffic. We’ll put our heads down and see what we can come up with. We need to come back next week with a better solution.”
Magnussen started behind his teammate in sixteenth place and faced similar issues with the brakes on his car like his teammate. The Dane did his best to stay in the race but was left to think what could have been after running as high as eleventh place.
“I was being told to do more and more lifting to save the brakes. By the end of it, I was just doing everything I could and still they blew up.” Magnussen explained.
“That happened when (Esteban) Ocon launched an attack on me, I think he took the cooling and that was the moment they went. It was always right there on the limit.“
“It wasn’t anticipated, it’s not like we knew we’d have big problems with the brakes. We knew we’d have to do some lift and coast for the brakes, but not all in that way.
“I might have had some debris in the ducts I guess. It’s a shame, we were P11, and if it hadn’t been for all that brake saving I might have had a decent pace.”
Team Principal, Guenther Steiner added that it was a hard retirement to take, feeling like they could have missed out on a big point-scoring opportunity due to the number of retirements.
“Obviously, it wasn’t the day we wanted today. We had brake issues because of overheating on both cars – it was the same thing.
“That’s what took us out of the race when there was a good possibility for us to get into the points. But ‘if and when’ didn’t work today.“
Steiner disputed Grosjean’s claims for the drivability of the car as he reflected on the positive points of the weekend, hoping they can battle for points this season.
“The good thing is, the drivers seemed to be as happy as they could be with the car. They feel that the car is raceable, so it just feels like we missed an opportunity.
“If we work hard, we can get into the points going forward, so that’s what we’ll be doing.”