Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is confident a new front wing introduced to the VF16 during the Japanese Grand Prix has made a significant impact on the team's form following a strong showing at Suzuka.
Despite a troubled start to the weekend in free practice – highlighted by Grosjean complaining of 'dangerous' brakes -, the decision to introduce a new front-wing ahead of qualifying would see both the Frenchman and team-mate Esteban Gutierrez reach Q3.
Though Grosjean would just miss out on Haas' first points since the Austrian Grand Prix with a run to 11th, Steiner was delighted to see the American outfit turn its form around with one of its best performances of the 2016 season.
“I think the new front wing they are very happy with that one, how it behaves, more total than overall downforce, it's more like the behaviour of the car now which he likes better and he can be more aggressive. I think that's the main thing that we found the better balance.
“On Friday we struggled here, but I think I said it before and I may repeat myself we had this front wing since Malaysia but we were never able to test it properly and find a setup or balance with it, because we always had some struggles in FP1 or FP2. So if you have a little bit of struggle in one car, you need to find out about your tyres, you cannot develop a new front wing.
“There's no point to have a good front wing and you don't know what your tyres are doing, so we focussed on it here, we had a little bit of a better weekend without big mechanical failures or anything, so we got it sorted and we got a bit of an understanding for this track, I hope we can carry it into Austin. But that is the main reason for Romain to be a little bit happier.”
With Grosjean's often expletive-laden radio messages about his difficulties with the VF16 having made headlines this year, Steiner joked that he would 'miss the abuse' if Haas' form improved from here.
“I don't know because I got so used to it that I miss it now, all the abuse! Everybody misses the abuse! I would say in general the car we are happier, it's still not far from being perfect to be honest, I think we have at least better balance which he likes, I hope it stays the same in the next four races and we get a new car, then we start again with the abuse.”
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