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Haas "miles away" from unlocking full car potential

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Haas "miles away" from unlocking full car potential
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May 24, 2016, 11:20 AM

Haas is "miles away" from unlocking the full potential of its first Formula 1 car, according to chief engineer Ayao Komatsu.

Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-16
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team
Ayao Komatsu, Haas F1 Team and Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team Principal
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-16 and team mate Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1 Team VF-16 battle for position
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-16
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team

The American squad has enjoyed a strong start to life in grand prix racing, scoring points in three of the first five races of the season.

Haas is currently sixth in the standings, ahead of established teams like Force India and McLaren.

But despite showing strong form right from the start, Komatsu reckons there is still lots of room for improvement.

When asked if the potential of the car had been unlocked fully, he said: "No way. Miles from it. One thing as a race team is designing a really good car [and another] is completely analysing and trying to get the most out of it.

"So to be honest I think the Bahrain qualifying result and the race result did us injustice to the car, but we still cannot get the best out of the car. Nowhere near the best out of the car at every single circuit.

"For instance in China, Russia we underperformed. We've been learning lessons every single time. There is just loads of room to improve," Komatsu told Motorsport.com.

Komatsu also says that luck has been on Haas' side so far and admits that having scored so many points has been a surprise.

"Yes, of course," he said. "P6 in Melbourne was a bit lucky. But we were there to take advantage. P5 in Bahrain again we did everything right from our side. But few other people did a different strategy choice. So again that benefited us.

"Even in Russia the car wasn't performing but again there was a lap-one accident. Romain managed to stay out of trouble again with his experience, and he drove a faultless race in difficult conditions. Again it's just everything needs to come together."

The Japanese, who worked with Romain Grosjean at Lotus before both joined Haas, says the Frenchman's input has been invaluable for the team.

"It's very, very important, because he gives us a benchmark. If he says there is a certain problem in the car, we know we have a problem to solve.

"If he says he is happy with the car, like for instance in Bahrain like he did in qualifying, with one set of tyre, qualifying P9, we knew it was a limit. That was car's limit.

"So it's really important that Romain gives us a benchmark. He's more confident than before in a way. Its very important."

Interview by Oleg Karpov

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Haas F1 Team
Author Pablo Elizalde