Haas are “readying for disappointment” in Baku says principal Guenther Steiner after further tyre issues at the Chinese Grand Prix.
After a strong opening race in Melbourne, the team finished pointless in Bahrain and again in China, despite both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen qualifying in the top ten at the Shanghai International Circuit.
The American outfit have been struggling to get their tyres switched on in race trim, and Steiner believes they can only hope to find the issue before round four in Azerbaijan arrives.
“It seems that we had a very similar problem to what we had in Bahrain. It was deja vu. So, we need to look into it, and work hard to get this issue sorted,” he told Crash.net.
“We tried but we didn’t fix it. We understood the problem after Bahrain but we couldn’t fix it in time for here, we still need to work on it. We need to keep on working and try and find a solution to our big issue.
“We didn’t have this in winter testing, as the track is completely different to this tracks like Bahrain, here and Baku.
“Baku is even worse – I’m readying myself for the disappointment. I hope we find something before Baku. At these race tracks we can’t get energy into the tyre.
“It’s high-speed tracks with long straights and low energy corners where we can’t get the heat into the tyres. That’s what it is.
“In winter testing, even if it was cold in Barcelona, you load the tyres a lot, you have energy to put in, you can keep the heat in it.
“In Australia, the temperature is higher and it was fine. But in Bahrain and here [China], it just doesn’t work.”
Grosjean and Magnussen were forced to pit within the first 10 laps in China as they struggled for pace, meaning they lost track position and couldn’t find a way back into the points.
Grosjean finished just behind P10 man Alex Albon, and admitted that he was fearful that the Haas’ pace would vanish as the race progressed.
“I was a bit worried to be fair before the start as our race pace hasn’t been amazing all weekend,” he explained.
“The car’s amazing over one lap, but as soon as we go two laps on the tyres, we’re not there anymore. We need to understand exactly what happened.”