Haas to continue with split aero-spec strategy


Haas is to continue with the split aero-spec strategy that it introduced at Silverstone.

As the American team attempts to get on top of its race day performance issues, for the Silverstone weekend, Romain Grosjean reverted to the aero package used in Melbourne for the season opener, while Kevin Magnussen continued with the latest package.

Unfortunately, the first lap clash that was to lead to the retirement of both cars meant that the team didn't get the data it needed, and as a result the strategy will continue this weekend in Germany.

"We decided on this exercise to get data and understand better what the difference between the two cars is, good or bad," said team boss, Guenther Steiner, "then we can see where we can make improvements.

"We weren't sure if the update we introduced in Barcelona was better or not," he admits. "We're running this again in Hockenheim, which is a different type of track with different temperatures - they'll be a lot higher - and, as we all know, we couldn't get a lot of data from the race at Silverstone from either of the cars.

"From a setup perspective, this is not a big issue," he added. "Each driver has their own engineers working on that. Mainly where it adds work is for the engineers back home who then have to compare data and make the car better. Set-up work, it's not a big difference. For sure, it doesn't make things easier, but with the little bit more work that needs to be done, we can handle that."

Despite the split strategy, Hockenheim will see the first significant update for the VF-19 since Barcelona.

"We've changed a few parts on the car," says Steiner. "There's not one specific area we're targeting. We're just making the car, in general, better, more drivable with more downforce, which always helps you go fast.

"We're trying to make the tires work better for us. That's the biggest improvement we can make at the moment - getting into the window of the tire - and that's got a lot to do with downforce.

"We're putting a lot of effort into improving the situation we're in," he adds. "We need to get the understanding of where we are and where we didn't work in the right direction. That's the thing we have to do."

"It was a tough call from the team, but a good test," said Grosjean of the switch back to the Melbourne-spec at Silverstone. "When we brought the upgrade in Barcelona, I wanted to revert back on the Friday evening. For me, the feeling was not so good from the rear end, especially through medium and high-speed corners. The feeling hasn't been good in those corners since then.

"Going back to the Melbourne package, the car felt a lot better in those regions. It shows that something was not working as expected. Now the aero guys are looking into it, but we know it's been our weakness. Obviously, that launch package has some limitations also. It has less downforce, but it has better stability."

"We're still looking to experiment and learn as much as possible with the issues we're having," said Magnussen, who is hoping to benefit from th new upgrades. "Hopefully, the upgrades we bring to Hockenheim will give us not only more answers, but also more performance."

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Published: 22/07/2019
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