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Monaco GP: Practice notes - Haas

NEWS STORY
24/05/2018

The sixth round of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Thursday at Circuit de Monaco as teams prepared for the 76th Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.

Two 90-minute sessions - FP1 and FP2 - on the 3.337-kilometer (2.074-mile), 19-turn track allowed drivers to methodically build speed and lower their lap times on a circuit that has remained relatively unchanged since it first saw racecars in 1929.

Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen faced adversity in FP1, each with differing outcomes. After both completed an installation lap on the Pirelli P Zero Purple ultrasoft tire, their baseline stints that followed became problematic.

Magnussen turned just seven laps before an issue relating to the fuel system relegated him to the garage. He wound up 20th on the speed chart with a best lap of 1:18.801 earned on his sixth tour.

Grosjean lost 50 minutes of valuable running after brushing the wall at Tabac (turn 12) toward the end of his maiden run. A new floor was needed on his Haas VF-18, and after the time-consuming fix was completed, only 10 minutes remained in the session. Grosjean made the most of the time, clocking a best lap of 1:13.943 on the 18th of his 24 laps, good for ninth overall.

FP2 remained a frustrating affair for Haas F1 Team, but for different reasons than FP1. Traffic on the shortest track on the Formula One calendar conspired against both drivers, with each struggling to find a clean lap. A 15-minute red flag stoppage to better secure manhole covers on the street circuit also limited on-track running.

Despite those hurdles, they still managed to better their times from FP1. Magnussen was 16th quickest with a lap of 1:13.572, which was 5.229 seconds better than his best lap from his truncated FP1 session. Grosjean fell to 18th fastest, but his quick time of 1:13.763 was still .18 of a second better than his best FP1 time.

Hypersofts were the tire of choice for both drivers to set their fast laps. Magnussen earned his quick time on his 21st tour while Grosjean scored his best time on his 22nd lap. Magnussen began FP2 on the Red supersoft tire, running 13 laps before switching to hypersofts. Grosjean chose Purple ultrasofts to begin the session, logging 10 laps before bolting on hypersofts. Magnussen tallied 42 laps in FP2 and Grosjean completed 37 laps.

Between the two sessions, Haas F1 Team ran a total of 109 laps - 61 by Grosjean and 48 by Magnussen.

Romain Grosjean: "We haven't been able to find a sweet spot on the car and we haven't found the grip we wanted to have for around here. Obviously, we're not very happy with the positions. Hopefully, we're going to get the tires to work better, get the grip out of them, and then the performance should rise quite nicely. Right now, we're not looking like we'd make it to Q3, but it's about finding the grip on the track. I'm sure the engineers are going to work really hard and get everything in the window with the tires, the temperature, and make sure we get the grip out of them. If we do so, the car's been really good everywhere, so I don't see why we shouldn't be competitive."

Kevin Magnussen: "Obviously, we're not where we wanted to be today, in terms of pace, and also in terms of not getting much running in FP1. I'm hoping for a better day on Saturday. We've got lots of time to work on the car with having Friday off, at least from driving, and we can think a lot more about the setup. Hopefully, we'll improve the situation for qualifying. The whole field is very tight, so even though it looks bad position-wise, we don't have to find that much time to go quite a bit forward."

Guenther Steiner: "It wasn't easy for us. We had a few issues in FP1 and we didn't get a lot of running. That always puts you a little bit behind here as the drivers need to get used to it and get laps. In FP2, we weren't where we wanted to be, but I think we roughly know why. There is room for improvement and we know where to go."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Monaco, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by PlayF1, 24/05/2018 21:44

"This minutia of detail is haunting HAAS.
It hit them with the brakes (last season)
Then with the wheel nuts
... and anything that crops up.

They are a young team, so it's to be expected.
What a shame that it has coincided with a run of bad form with RG.

I have a feeling that it will begin to come good ... but of course
... their 'start of season advantage' will have been burned.

The experienced teams will surely out-develop them, as the season progresses.
... while they struggle with the minutia.

The other shit, is that this just doesn't play to RG's strengths.
Fingers crossed, they stay out of trouble at Monaco, and register a good result.
... same too for McLaren, who seem to be able to pull results out of the bag.

I like that, cos it's just got them another 200m.
FA is definitely earning his salary :)"

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