Haas to use 'spotters' in Baku qualifying

The Haas Formula 1 team is to use IndyCar-style 'spotters' at this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix in a bid to avoid the problems it has suffered with traffic in qualifying.

Haas to use 'spotters' in Baku qualifying
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team, makes a track walk, colleagues
Haas F1 Team team members push the Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team VF-17 along the pit lane
Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Motorsports, FOM, talks to Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-17
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-17
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team, Gene Haas F1 Team, Owner and Founder, Haas F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen was hampered by traffic in Q2 in Monaco and failed to get out of Q1 in Canada after failing to get a clear lap.

Following the Canadian Grand Prix, team boss Gunther Steiner said he would consider assigning team members to spot and following discussions, he has decided to go ahead with the strategy.

"We've got some changes in place," Magnussen told reporters in Canada. "We've both got a person, looking at just traffic and nothing else so it can just be like a spotter on the GPS so hopefully that will help.

"It's one of the things with us, we're growing every race and improving and it's good to see that we're immediately making steps.

"It's not clear after the first race where we had traffic in Monaco that we need to make a change - it could be just an annoying unlucky situation.

"But then it happened straight after again and then we take action and that's really good to see. I like that."

Haas has chosen to re-assign current members of staff, rather than recruiting new people, to focus on traffic.

"On Friday, we will sit down together [and discuss it]," said Steiner. "We have our candidates anyway - it's just telling them what they need to do."

Steiner admitted Haas might not need spotters at every race, but it was important to have a solution in place should they be required going forward.

"It does need somebody to watch on the GPS or data who is out there and try to see what they're actually doing, the other guys," he said.

"I think Canada was particularly difficult because of the short circuit so the same amount of cars, less space, so obviously you run into each other and then how people they're managing tyres different to get to the fast lap.

"If you know that at least you can tell the driver how he should react to get to his. It will still be difficult but the race engineer himself he has got too much to do and if it's for both the cars it's pretty easy.

"But what happened in Canada – short track, difficult tyre warm-up process – we need to do something. If we need to do it everywhere so even if we don't need them, we have them and next time when you need them they will be trained for it."

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