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Formula 1 Chinese GP

Haas facing fundamental tyre warm-up problem with 2019 F1 car

Haas believes its 2019 Formula 1 car has a fundamental problem in not getting its tyres working properly at tracks where there are long straights and low-energy corners.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-19, locks up ahead of Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso STR14

After an encouraging season opener in Australia where Kevin Magnussen finished best of the rest behind the top three teams, the outfit has had two more difficult weekends in Bahrain and China.

And on both occasions it has found itself struggling to keep its tyres in the right operating window in the races.

That characteristic has left team boss Gunther Steiner clear that the team needs to find a solution to overcome the problem, otherwise it will face further woes at some tracks later in the year.

“It's high-speed tracks with long straights and low-energy corners where we cannot get the heat into the tyres,” explained Steiner about what was wrong with the team’s 2019 challenger.

“In winter testing it was cold [but] in Barcelona you load the tyres a lot and you have energy to put in, and it keeps the heat in and it's fine. In Australia we were fine, the temperature was higher, everything worked for us. But in Bahrain and here [in China] it just doesn't work.”

Steiner said that there was no single factor that was triggering the problem, but it was a multitude of things that were coming together.

“It's a combination of everything,” he added. “It's a combination, you can't just put it down to vehicle dynamics: it's aero, it's everything. It all comes into place.

“[For example] brake cooling, there is a lot of things going on there. You know, we cannot identify because otherwise it would be too easy. It's a combination of things we need to try to sort out, otherwise it would be easy. If it was a vehicle dynamics thing we would change.”

Asked how Haas would go about solving things, he said: “You go to the wind tunnel, you try to put heat through the tyres in one way or the other: aero-wise, brake cooling or brake heating-wise, or in vehicle dynamics-wise. But we don't have a solution at the moment. Once we have it I'll tell you how we did it."

He added: “I think we can overcome it, I think we overcame a lot of things. I think we just need to work hard on it.

“After Bahrain, we stayed there testing and found what the issue was, but after Bahrain we didn't have any time to react because the test was finished on Wednesday. So we need to see what we can come up with now.”

Additional reporting by Stuart Codling

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