Haas chief Guenther Steiner believes his team has found answers to its pace problems over long stints on Pirelli’s 2019 tyres but its solutions are being held up by needing time to develop parts and fixes.

After a strong start at the Australian Grand Prix, with Kevin Magnussen taking sixth place, the US squad has failed to score a point at the following two races despite seeing both cars start inside the top 10 in both Bahrain and China.

The key to the problem appears to focus on getting the tyres in the correct operating window to maintain its impressive pace which it can demonstrate in qualifying but is struggling to translate into the races.

Following an intensive Bahrain test programme, Steiner is confident Haas has found solutions but any quick fixes have been held up as it needs to develop car parts.

With next weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix acting as the last flyaway of the opening rounds, most F1 teams traditionally introduce a raft of updates for the following race, the Spanish Grand Prix, meaning Steiner is bracing for another tough race before serious resolutions can be delivered.

“We learned a lot in the two-day test after the Bahrain Grand Prix. We understand it, we just couldn’t find solutions in time for the upcoming events, because you need to develop those solutions and parts,” Steiner explained. “Hopefully we’ll get on top of that one, sort the problem, and be as competitive in the race as we are in qualifying.

“I couldn’t say that it’s more difficult than last year because the car is different – we’ve developed a completely new car. We just know that we cannot get the tyres to work in the race. How big the window is, and to keep in it, is difficult to define.

“We definitely don’t get it in the window, so I wouldn’t know what it takes to keep it in the window.

Baku will be another difficult event for us because of the long straight and the slow, low-energy corners. Hopefully some of our solutions will work, which we’ve been working on since the test in Bahrain – to get the tyres into the window. Otherwise, Baku could be another difficult circuit for us.”

Romain Grosjean has echoed his team boss’s comments and believes the issue falls solely on not having grip as the tyres start to wear over a race stint.

“The grip is going. We have good grip in qualifying. On new tyres, the car is amazing, but when we go into the race, we’re losing the grip and things become a bit more complicated,” Grosjean said. “That’s the problem we’re facing at the moment.

“It’s probably coming from the way we use the tyres. We haven’t managed to get on top of it yet. That’s our number one priority for the next few races.”



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