Haas frustrated to be "playing games with a thermometer"

Formula 1 team boss Gene Haas has admitted his frustration at the significant role played by tyre management in 2019, saying his team is having to "play games with a thermometer".

Haas frustrated to be "playing games with a thermometer"

The team has struggled all season to stay in the optimum tyre operating window in races, having often showed promise in qualifying.

But warmer conditions and the nature of the Barcelona track contributed to an improved performance in Spain, where Kevin Magnussen finished seventh and best of the rest, and Romain Grosjean was 10th.

“I think we had a miserable start to the season,” Haas told Motorsport.com. “We qualified really well, so it says that we can do one or two laps quick. But then we lose tyre temperature, and when you lose tyre temperature, the cars sometimes just go away.

“It was warmer today, and we didn’t have that problem, but even with Grosjean on the restart, his tyres were a little bit cooler, but a couple of laps later he was back up to speed. It’s very critical to keep on top of the tyres.

“It seems like it’s just luck if you get the tyre in that right temperature zone. It would be nice if Pirelli could make it so it wasn’t so sensitive to that. We’re playing games with a thermometer, not racing cars.”

Read Also:

Haas added that the team has to find some straightline performance: “That midfield is so tight. We were obviously slower on the straights than a lot of our competitors, but we were able to keep ahead of them in the turns. We’ve got high speed drag but the downforce makes us better in the turns.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner had expected Barcelona to be more favourable for the black and gold cars, and cautioned that there was still work to do to address the tyre problem on a long term basis.

“I mean coming here we knew from testing that we can get the tyre to work here,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com. “It is obviously a sign of progress from Baku, because Baku was pretty dull for us, you know, because before we always had the cars in the top 10 in qualifying.

“We know the speed of the car, we just can’t on certain tracks get the tyres to work, and here it’s working, we're on the limit here, we get it in.

“But what we need to do is we need to find a way to make them work everywhere, because it’s clear that the car is good. There’s no doubt about it, the speed of the car.”

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-19, leads Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-19, and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-19, leads Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-19, and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

shares
comments
All 15 Dutch drivers in F1 history ranked

Previous article

All 15 Dutch drivers in F1 history ranked

Next article

Ferrari: Quick fix possible for "obvious" SF90 weaknesses

Ferrari: Quick fix possible for "obvious" SF90 weaknesses
Load comments
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku Prime

The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Prime

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship.

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021
How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP Prime

How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP

Formula 1's return to Baku after a year away had thrown up an eventful qualifying marred by four red flags, but the race appeared to be running to a familiar Red Bull vs Mercedes template entering the closing stages. That is, until a dramatic conclusion where victory was snatched away from two drivers, before landing in the lap of Sergio Perez

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021