Haas still unsure whether it's got to grips with tyres

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-19.
© XPB 

Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner admits that the team still doesn't know whether it's got on top of the tyre performance issues that have been plaguing the squad since the start of the season.

Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen have performed consistently well in qualifying only to drop backwards on race day, when the VF-19 hasn't been able to get this year's Pirelli compounds into the optimal temperature operating window.

Haas had a breakthrough in Spain with both drivers finishing in the top ten for the first time in 2019 to bring an end to a three-race drought of points.

But they had a mixed time again in Monaco, with Grosjean finishing in tenth but Magnussen dropping back all the way to 14th after starting from fifth on the grid.

With Canada's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve closer in character to Monaco than Spain, Steiner admitted that he was worried how Haas would fare next week.

“We’re a little bit more hopeful than maybe where we were about four weeks ago," he said.

"The soft family [of tyre compounds] in Monaco worked pretty well on our cars, so hopefully we can get them to work – get them up to temperature – in Canada, as well.

"We’ll only know this after Friday practice, it’s too early to tell," he admitted. "The only proof is when you get there and run on a Friday to see what you can get out of it.

"I think we have a handle on the car, but we’re not 100 per cent sure about the tyres, because it’s so track-specific if the tyre gets up to temperature or not."

But it's not all about tyres. Haas was supplied with the new second-specification Ferrari power unit in Monaco which it will now take forward to Canada.

Steiner said that its debut performance had been "very good", but added that Monaco wasn't exactly a power circuit.

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-19.

"There were no complaints. Monaco, as we know, is not a track where the power makes a big difference," he said. "It’s always good to have it, but it doesn’t make a big difference.

"In Canada, we’ll really see how much better the engine is. We are hoping it’s a good boost and doing what it should be doing.”

Steiner wants a good result in Canada to put them ahead of Racing Point in the constructors championship. Despite their early season tyre struggles, Haas is currently in sixth place and just one point behind their rivals.

"Everybody’s close together, even fourth place is not far away," he said. "If one team has a good result with both cars going, it’s easy to move up to fourth. Everything is very tight, especially between fifth and ninth.

"I think it’s good for the championship, and this has happened mainly because everybody’s struggled at some stage, so far. It will get more and more interesting as we move forward in the season.

"At some stage there will be two or three teams that move a little ahead, if everything goes to plan for them, but I still think it’ll be very tight.

"Everybody seems to struggle at certain kinds of tracks, but we’re not all struggling on the same ones. It’ll be interesting throughout the season.”

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