Haas happy with overall package but team needs time to 'gel'

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Gene Haas gave an initial assessment of his team's performance following its Formula 1 testing debut in Barcelona this week, labeling the US squad's start as both encouraging and enlightening.

Performance obviously took a back seat for Haas when its VF16 contender turned its first wheel on Monday, as initial running was all about checking systems and ensuring minimum reliability.

"The only thing that has really been exercised yet is the crew so that is what we are doing this week is getting the crew to understand how the car goes together, all these various parts," Haas said.

"They have to change the engine out half a dozen times, so that is a good learning experience. The car’s characteristics are very neutral, it has good aero, balanced at both ends, it is very neutral going through the turns, it doesn’t snap or do anything strange.

"So far it looks good. We have to be faster to find where the limits of the car are though."

Haas offered some insight into Romain Grosjean's wing failure after 13 maps out of the box on Monday morning.

"The wing has a fair amount of downforce, it pulled out the attachment structure on the nose, which is some aluminium that the carbon fibre is integrated with.

"So the process of putting the parts in auto-play, the theory is the aluminium heats up and then when it cools, it pulled away a bit from the carbon fibre so there was some weakness there.

With the downforce and the vibrations, the bond wasn’t proper, so the aluminium pulled out from the nose which then let the wing go under the car, so it just went into many little pieces.

While the team applied a temporary fix to the problem, by reinforcing the assembly, Haas insisted that a permanent solution was still required.
"Eventually they will have to come up with some other way to bond the aluminium to the carbon fibre."

The incident took nothing away however from the American's positive view on the team's overall package, but emphasized how the human factor would require more time to 'join the mix'.

"We know the aero is good, the chassis is good, we have the best engine and transmission package out there, so now it comes down to the team, we have to put the team together that can execute if you do have bad days and you need to do whatever to get back on track.

"That is where the team comes in, the way they work together and making sure the car is reliable, that is going to be their job.

"We have all the right components now, we just have to block execute. Kind of like a football team, we need to make the passes and the touchdowns.

"The engine package we are running now is not the engine package we will run in Melbourne, these are just test packages so that will vary a little bit.

"The chassis is already homologated, I don’t think the car will be that different to what you see in Melbourne… maybe the front wing will change a little bit from reliability issues we had, but what I think what you see here will run in Melbourne."

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