Nico Hülkenberg was disappointed with the tyre degradation the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team suffered with throughout the Spanish Grand Prix as he slipped from seventh on the grid to finish only fifteenth.
Whereas the majority of their rivals were able to get through the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya by pitting only twice, the tyre degradation Haas suffered with meant Hülkenberg was forced to make three stops, meaning he dropped out of contention for a top ten finish.
Hülkenberg says the pace of the VF-23 appears to be strong over one lap, but it is important now for the team to convert that kind of pace into race day if they want to become regular contenders for points.
“It was tough. Unfortunately, the degradation was really high for us and we had to three-stop whereas the competition didn’t,” said Hülkenberg.
“It looks at first glance that over one lap we’re competitive but in the long runs we still have some homework to do and some pace to find.”
“It was a tough day in terms of tyre management” – Kevin Magnussen
Team-mate Kevin Magnussen also had to contend with excessive tyre degradation, with the Dane also unable to avoid a third trip to the pit lane during the race.
It had not been one of Magnussen’s strongest weekends having started only seventeenth, and his tyre woes meant he ended his race only eighteenth, ahead only of Valtteri Bottas and Logan Sargeant.
Magnussen hopes what they can learn a lot from their Spanish Grand Prix weekend and come back stronger in upcoming races, starting with the Canadian Grand Prix later this month.
“It was a tough day in terms of tyre management,” said Magnussen. “At the beginning of every stint, it was quite competitive compared to everyone we were fighting, but our tyres just fell off quickly and we had to three-stop which wasn’t optimal.
“Hopefully we can try and learn about what caused it to improve, but certainly it was a tough race. When you have a bad weekend like this, you tend to find some interesting answers and that’s what I’m hoping for now – onto the next one.”