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Redemption for Australia: Haas F1’s high Silverstone expectations after Austria points haul
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Posted By: Editor   |  05 Jul 2018   |  12:47 pm GMT  |  32 comments

Despite Haas being on course for their best season in their short time in Formula One, the American team have so far had a season which has been littered with missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential.

With the wounds of the Australian Grand Prix – where a double pit stop error eliminated them from a possible fourth and fifth place – are still relatively fresh in the memory, Haas have struggled to mount a consistent claim for the coveted fourth place in the constructors’ championship.

Whilst still being at the forefront of the midfield, their early season has been hampered by incidents and component failures, mostly involving Romain Grosjean, at venues such as Bahrain, Baku and Barcelona.

Upgrades – brought for the Canadian Grand Prix onward – yielded pace improvements, but Haas were at tad fortunate to finish the last race at Paul Ricard as the lead midfielders; after looking quick all weekend, they were set back by qualifying and opening lap issues and had to rely on late-race mechanical troubles for Renault’s Carlos Sainz in order to take sixth place.

After Austria, though, Haas appear to have their season back on track after Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen secured fourth and fifth place at the Red Bull Ring on Haas’ 50th Formula One race, their best result in the sport to date.

Following a remarkable qualifying session where Grosjean managed to out-qualify one of the Red Bulls, the Haas duo ran comfortably at the head of the midfield, which enabled them to profit from any additional opportunities that came their way.

The elimination of the two Mercedes, as well as Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, promoted the Haas drivers to fourth and fifth place finishes, worth twenty-two points to the team in the constructors’ standings. Haas already have more points than they managed throughout 2017.

“It’s redemption,” said team principal Guenther Steiner after the race.

“We got back (from the disappointment). The team were never demoralised. Everybody knows the potential of the car. And if you know that, it will come if you work hard.

“It’s fantastic, at our 50th race, to finish fourth and fifth. It’s for the guys and you can imagine how happy they are. Both cars in the points, Romain scoring for the first time this year. It’s a very successful weekend.”

Whilst Romain Grosjean’s first points of the season will undoubtedly lifted a weight off the Frenchman’s shoulders, team-mate Kevin Magnussen’s impressive season continues and the Dane has taken points in five of the nine races so far this year.

“We’ve had a very good weekend,” said Magnussen. “To challenge for top-five, we didn’t expect that. We finished both cars in the top-five, and that’s an incredible job from the team and I’m really proud of the whole team.

“We’ve shown this weekend that we’ve got a good car. Actually, it’s not only this weekend – we’ve shown all year that the car is very competitive. We’ve just got to keep going like this.”

Despite the big points haul, Haas remain thirteen points shy of fourth-placed Renault and Magnussen has called for consistency over the rest of the season to capitalise on the pace of the car.

“Our weakness is still consistency. It’s not outright pace in the car. It’s getting this level out of the car at every track.

“We’ve seen this year that even though the car is very good, we can have some off weekends like we did in Monaco and even in Montreal a little bit. It’s a lot better than last year but we need to keep on top and keep this ball rolling.”

The next round at Silverstone, which features many high-speed corners, is highly expected to favour Haas, with Steiner anticipating that the British Grand Prix could be another fruitful race for the team.

“Our car seems to be best at high-speed circuits, and with Silverstone being one of them, for sure we’re hoping to have a good result there, as well.”

“I think it’s just the aero characteristics. Some cars like slow circuits, some like fast corners, and ours seems to like the fast corners a lot better than the slow ones.”

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

Do you think Haas can challenge for fourth place in the constructors’ championship? Leave your comments below.

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1
Chris Sturgeon

And 7th and 8th in qualifying!!

2

My first impression from Haas and their effort to improve in F1 WDC is to go past Grojoan. It just seems that he has made too many errors and complains a lot. This is from a fans perspective. So, I can only imagine what it would be like in the garage. I would like to be wrong, but I think Haas would do better with an analytical, cool headed driver. Grojoan has moments of brilliance, but I get discouraged when something goes wrong, and he bursts it out during the race. All racers do it, but if it is over done; it is negative energy against the psychy of the team and spectators. Also, why are there no be good American drivers out there. And here’s another idea – put Ricciardo in a Haas!!! How would that go?!?

3

Success breeds success, so a few good races has got the Haas team working well, as well as there style in comforting each other. Blame & fear always hurts results.

Haas & Renault is becoming another good contest to watch, & I think they can catch Renault because of the better PU.

……………as long as Ericsson stops punting Grosjean.

4

I just can’t get behind Haas I’m afraid – I know they’re not doing anything wrong, but their business model renders half the grid obsolete. If we’re gonna have customer cars, let’s have customer cars and be open about it.

Never rated Grosjean either for good measure.

5

They should be the best of the rest. They have the car but not the best crew or 1 driver is also trying to hard.

Its a long season so you never know but they should have more points than ever. We shall see.

6

I think Haas will do well this year without doubt. I thought they did not get the best of the machines in the beginning of the year due to their drivers, and some misstakes of their own mistakes. But it get’s better it seems. Grosjean is a dirver that isreally good, and I think he’s showed improvements mentally. Still I think he was faster at times already in his early F1 career. Magnussen has the Perez Syndrom maybe. But he’s trying to hard, that’s clear. Like a Max with less talent, Heiniken and orange.

7

RG has been trying too hard IMO. If he quits that HAAS should do even better.

8

Very interesting assumption. So Max is unable to drive 25 laps without contact yet never gets penalized. Mag makes a few similar mistakes and gets punished every single time. And now he is right behind Max’s top field car and you deem him the less talented. I will never realize why his hype is so out of proportions when any single driver on the grid would have more points in his seat by now!

9

The thing about Max if you read, it say’s just that actually. Yes Max has some talent but hyped because of the Orange crowd that Liberty hopes to tap into. And then we have the beer company…you get the point. I could add his dad and many others involved with this massive pr coup. It feels like the signature moves of a certain promoter, but that’s just speculation.

10

Did I say that? Must have been slightly confused

11

Are you sure that you have not mixed up their two driver names with each other, as it’s so far Magnussen that have remained composed this year race in race out, while Grosjean has trashed his car in quali, spun and trashed his car behind the safety car, etc? On the team radio Grosjean also comes across consistently to be the most volatile of the two.

12

The team also messed up in Australia.

13

@Jaggernauth

@Cyber

Can’t actually remember what exactly wanted to say there, But yes the only correct thing is that Grosjean has gone from Horrible to a decent driver and now back to bad most of times. Weird. And it should say isn’t good on Grosjean. But also one has to remember really how bad it was in the beginning, it almost got absurd, crashing at every way possible, ruined so many others races too. And yes for Magnussen, your’e absolutely right, he’s improved a lot lately.

14

And no kidding!

Don’t know if you saw first free practice here today on Silverstone ending a few minutes ago, but Grosjean lost his car through the first turns he made and crashed it for the chassis to be rebuilt. Looked pretty damaged so don’t think he will have a car ready for the second free practice this afternoon…

15

Has he shirked his ahis appointments to his shrink maybe? I still have my doubts about Max, but I’ll give him credit if he can hold it together, did not look that way in practice though…

16

If Renault continues the steady improvement they have been doing so far I can’t see Haas overtaking them. If however they were making use of their opportunities as the earlier races then I might think differently. Well done to them though. Makes me sad for Force India and Williams.

17

Good to see them progress after a couple of heartbreakers so far this season. l wonder how far they can take their project following the philosophy they have chosen. They could feasibly finish 4th this season, they probably would be already if they had gotten the points they missed on in Australia. Happy for Grosjean to have finaly managed a point finish, it might be wht he needed to start beating his teammate regularly. Marc

18

Terrible mistakes in Australia but no radio hysteria and Grosjean goes and comforts the guys after the race.

Grosjean makes some terrible driving errors but the team are not straight out talking to bigger teams about borrowing one of their young drivers

Perhaps a lesson for others……you do not fix things by putting people under extra pressure. They know they have got it wrong and you give them support and time.

Maybe the Haas model is not just different in the way it builds it’s cars but also in the way it builds it’s team.

19

Mercedes should replace Hamilton with Grosjean asap, clearly with him hugging the mechanics after every mistake they’ll roar back to the front in no time.

20

#Andrew M…just for once give your Lewis Sycophant posts a rest. You really are getting to be a boring troll . Don’t remember Merc looking for a different driver after any mistakes. I am saying that you can improve by working as a team ALL THE TIME.

21

I believe unless I’m mistaken I’m free to post whatever I want, unless the mods stop me of course. So I’ll continue to post as I see fit.

We are here in a thread about Haas, and you’re saying (in a veiled yet pretty clear way) that Hamilton is at fault for Meecedes’ strategic and wider problems this year, so don’t try and claim you have the moral high ground here. That’s your opinion, and that’s fine, and I disagree with it, so I’m going to express my disagreement, in whatever way I choose.

If you keep posting things that I disagree with, I am free to point that out. If you keep posting poor analysis, I will point that out. If you keep posting blatant untruths, I will point that out. No one here has a right to post or say what they want without challenge or rebuttal. If you don’t like my posts, ignore them, but I will continue to post as I always have.

22

That’s a nice story but yeah, given that you specifically called out Hamilton in the last thread and compared him

directly to Grosjean, I don’t believe you.

But it’s ok, I countered your rather thin argument in the previous thread so I’m more than happy to do it again. You say that Grosjean was good to the team and didn’t moan after Australia and the team didn’t make any more mistakes, but you’re wrong – the team didn’t pit both cars in Austria, exactly the same mistake you say Hamilton is somehow responsible for for moaning at the team.

Also, you say that Alonso isn’t a team player, but actually McLaren’s strategy calls this year have been pretty good – they helped get Alonso far further up the grid several times (Australia, Baku, Austria).

Basically, there are plenty of counter examples to your hypothesis – there’s far too much random noise for such an assertion to be taken seriously. You can make just as strong an argument that drivers who are hard on their teams in public make better strategy calls, or drive the engineers to develop the car better, or pretty much anything.

And, as it doesn’t seem to have sunk in, you have no power or authority to tell me how, when and what to post. Even if you say please.

23

Disagree by all means but to continually turn everything into an anti Hamilton issue is delusional.

Grosjean hugged his mechanics and they stopped making mistakes Fact .. compare with Alonso and the chaos at McLaren . Perhapsa bit more team work and less high profile bitching would have seen better results.

Haas have stuck by Grosjean and he is coming good. Fact. Compare with Renault and Palmer or TR and Hartley.

Please read the posts rather than what is in your imagination. The universe does not revolve around Hamilton even if you think it does and as such not all of us are thinking of him with every word we write.

24

Haas are having a hiatus season. It’s an amazing improvement with the Airfix kit snap on car. Maybe its the way forward. Forget spending tons on making everything yourselves and get them ready for use. Dallara chassis Ferrari Engine with Ferrari wind tunnel input (both cars benefited from the extra R&D). Then when you nedd to you give your engine supplier an easy pass knowing full well they’ll give you a few new bits for your engine.

Mercedes do

Ferrari do it

Renault do it

Honda wish they can do it.

KMag has to be the main points winner and outright No.1 driver at Haas.

Grosjean spits alot blames other drivers…then performs for abit to get a new cintract. Then settles back to do Jack Crap and blame anyone in the vicinity. I’m sure he’ll blame Kyvat next even though he is a virtual driver for Ferrari now.

25

For quite some time i have been uneasy at just how the internal structures of client teams are managed. It seems as though the ’embedded supplier engineers’ would be well placed to know just what each team is doing, basically from observation, as well as being paid and employed by a serious competitor..or not, as the case may be. I know of no other sport whereby an enemy can be gainfully placed in a competitors inner sanctum and for this practice to be sanctioned by the governing body!!! The relationships are also questionable, especially evidenced by Ocon, at Monaco this year. Wolff actually had the chutzpah to say ‘that’s how it is’. If that was not an open acknowledgement of racing duplicity i don’t know what is. If James is listening could i make a request for an article examining just what happens in these areas where engineers are placed within competitors teams. Who pays them, who decides when an engine is in trouble, who decides to make the decisions on replacements/parts, how do the teams protect their strategies etc etc from being made observable to the competitive enemy? Do the engines come with driver designation? Who chooses what driver gets what engine? As Andy Cowell said quite some time ago, they build 100 engines then take the six best for themselves as there will always be marginal differences between even the most stringent of manufacturing processes. James, it is a very sensitive area but it would help all of us to understand the deeper processes at work in what does at times look decidedly dodgy.

26

Agreed Kenneth, super interesting subject area within F1 !

Just doubtful if any, especially and despite being good and trustworthy journalists, would be able to gain access to this inner sanctum of the most holy of the holy for any manufacturer in our sport?

I recall that Jean Todt a few years after leaving Ferrari and their dream team had come to an end that he disclosed how very special they hand picked every single material source and component that was to end up on Michael Schumacher’s car. It started out even when handling the raw substances for mixing the carbon fibre clothings, the metals being melted in the casts foundations, to each single little component being handpicked going into the engine or electronic system. Only the ones with the smallest design/production margins from ideal specs were put into his car, while the others from same production batch were going to the second driver. Now with all engine manufacturers running their own factory teams, it can only be suspected that they have similar triage in place for their production lines and where the components go.

But that is of course only for us to speculate about as we have no really way to know for sure…

JA and Luke to get out there and make a master piece for us to read !

27

@BK Flamer,

While it cannot be easily stopped, l dislike the idea of client teams making passing easier to the supplying team. l possibly don’t understand the workings of F1 well enough but, why would they feel obliged to do so? They spend good money buying the units and it surely should come with no string attached. At least we haven’t witnessed Red Bull waving Renault by, hahaha! Marc

28

It may be more the drivers doing than the teams. In hopes when that next dream seat opens up, previous favors may be remembered.

29

Yes but Renault have held up Alonso in a Ferrari and Lewis in a Mclaren… Renault used Kubica so Vettel in the Red Bull psssed by easily then it took yonks for Alonso and Lewis to pass. Torro Rosso have made it so obvious that they let the two Red Bulls pass many times. So the Red Bulls do get easy passes. So every big team gets a “Mulligan let off easy pass” by the minnows that owe something back to big boys.

It’s pretty unfair as you say. But it’s the way in big business too.

30

I would be surprised if they can overtake Renault, but being close behind a manufacturer team, and ahead of the more established independents is a great achievement for such a young squad. Romain has had a couple of good races now, so if he keeps that up they should keep fifth quite comfortably.

31

@TimW,

Yes it is some achievement over a very short time in F1 term. I am very curious to see if the Sauber project might yield such results as Haas as soon as next season. l am very excited about them, sadly if Leclerc leave them next season, it will be a bit more difficult for them to do so, unless they secure a good replacement of course. Marc

32

Comet, it would be embarrassing for Ferrari for Sauber to remain behind Haas, it will be interesting to see how that pans out. I would imagine if the rumours are true, and Leclerc takes Kimi seat, that Giovinazzi will take his place at Sauber. No doubt Ericsson will be retained due to his high ‘talent’ level….

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