Haas Formula 1 team boss Guenther Steiner was left to bemoan another frustrating weekend for the American squad at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The team faced yet more performance-related issues despite a promising qualifying from Romain Grosjean - who made it into Q3 - as both drivers struggled for pace in Sunday’s race, with Grosjean falling to 15th and Kevin Magnussen only able to recover to 17th following his “embarrassing” qualifying crash.

Reflecting on another frustrating weekend for Haas, Steiner said: “It’s just more of the same. We now know that these things happen, they are never nice but they actually happen.

“You go into the race always knowing that at some stage we will have an issue with the tyre because we cannot generate the heat we need to make the tyre work, so as blue flags come in you slow down, the tyre gets cold, we cannot get the heat back in and you fall back.

“It sounds almost too simple not to have a solution for it but that is what is happening. So even if we can qualify on one lap normally decently - going into Q3 is still an achievement in my opinion - but we cannot hold on in the race for this reason. We just cannot keep the heat in the tyres.”

Haas’ Sunday was made harder after Magnussen shunted while on an out-lap during Q1, leaving him 19th on the grid and his team with a rebuild job in the short window between qualifying and the race following an alteration to the weekend schedule after Typhoon Hagibis forced Saturday’s running to be cancelled.


“The guys did a good job to get the car out again in good shape,” Steiner added. “These things never help but it happens. He was on a very fast lap to be honest and he got a little bit of wheelspin out of the last corner and it just turned on him.

“Was the wheelspin caused by wind or not? Yes, there was wind but was that the reason or was it just taking off on the kerb? We don’t know exactly but that’s what it was.

“In the end we got out and he had a fantastic start and ended up in front of the car that started tenth after two or three corners. But then in the race it all went downhill. That’s the usual on a normal day, on a normal Sunday.”

Asked if he feels there is light at the end of the tunnel for his squad, Steiner replied: “Not short-term.

“We know where we are and why we are where we are, but to fix it is a different issue and I don’t know if we can get on top of it this year consistently.

“There’s only four races left anyway but maybe we’ve got one or the other good day in general.

“It’s not like I can tell you that in the next two races we will bring an upgrade that will sort the problem, we just need to make sure that this doesn’t happen next year because it’s quite consuming.”

 

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