Haas: Fridays key to sorting "appalling" Mexico form

Haas believes that eliminating reliability dramas on Fridays is key to helping it bounce back from what team principal Gunther Steiner has referred to as recent "abysmal" performances.

The American outfit has endured fluctuating form over the second half of the campaign, as typified by the contrast between it having got two cars into Q3 in Suzuka and scoring a point in Austin and then being relegated near the back in Mexico a week later.

Steiner says a lack of set-up direction has especially hurt, as he is convinced performances like the United States Grand Prix prove the team's car has no fundamental flaws.

Reflecting on what happened in Mexico, Steiner said: "We know what is wrong: we could not find the balance, we were all over the place, we couldn't get the tyres working – we were out of the tyre window. We just didn't perform.

"We have to be honest with ourselves and say we didn't do a good job, starting on Friday. I was thinking that we could recover on Saturday but we didn't – qualifying was appalling almost.

"You have these days in racing, we just need to get our act together again in the next two races. We know we can do it. We got into Q3 two races ago, so where did it all go? I don't know. But we try hard in the next race."

Steiner believes that a spate of reliability problems that the team has suffered on practice days has especially hurt its progress, because its rookie status means there is no car data to fall back on from previous years.

"I think what we need to work on is that when we go out practising on Friday, we are actually practising and not standing in the garage for half the time.

"That is the worst bit – because we don't learn. In Mexico we had one car down in FP2 and then we tried to do all the work for the tyres with the other car, and you cannot do it. Then you don't do set-up work and you get lost.

"I think that is our biggest handicap at the moment – that the last two races we didn't have a clean Friday/Saturday. We will work on that one.

"If something breaks, like an ECU on your installation lap, what can you do? Everyone tries to do their best but stuff like this happens. So you have to keep your heads up and keep on digging."

No panic

Steiner believes that there is no need for his team to dramatically change its working practices after what happened in Mexico, because simply getting more mileage will pay dividends.

"I think we just need to do a good job," he said. "We don't need to change anything, we don't need to change any parts.

"I spoke to the guys. We need to keep our focus, and we know we are able to do it. We didn't get stupid within two weeks here, so we just need to have a smooth weekend."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean , Esteban Gutierrez
Teams Haas F1 Team
Article type Breaking news