Romain Grosjean thinks that by speaking out about Haas’ problems early in 2019, he saved them from further woes in 2020.
The American outfit suffered a dismal season, finishing the 2019 season P9 in the Constructors’ Championship.
The main issue appeared to be a struggle to make the tyres work in race trim, causing Grosjean and team-mate Kevin Magnussen to sink down the field, and Grosjean told the team after testing an aero update in Spain that they were heading down the wrong path.
And after later informing the team that they shouldn’t be focusing on the tyres as the cause of their issues, Haas duly found a wind tunnel correlation issue.
They were able to put this right so that it didn’t impact upon their 2020 designs, and Grosjean feels it was important that he spoke out when he did or 2020 could have been another difficult year for Haas.
“As soon as the Barcelona race, when we brought the evolution to the car, I immediately said that there was a problem and that it wasn’t working,” he told Motorsport.com.
“At Paul Ricard, after qualifying, I told them that we had to stop concentrating on the tyres because that wasn’t the problem. There was another real problem with the car.
“That’s when the studies were more thorough, and we realised that there was a real problem. It was a correlation problem between the wind tunnel and the track.
“What’s certain is that if I hadn’t said in Barcelona that the evolution wasn’t working, they would have continued in the same direction and this year it wouldn’t have gone well. That was definitely a positive point.”
Haas will launch their 2020 car in the pitlane at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on the first day of testing – they don’t want to waste any time as they hit the track to find out if they have solved their 2019 problems.
“We’re not making a presentation, we’re just launching. We’re going to concentrate on the essentials and really get the best out of the car as quickly as possible,” said Grosjean.
“We’re waiting to see how is the car on track. We have all the numbers from the wind tunnel. I think we’ve learned a lot from last year. Now, again, the only answer we’re really going to get is when we run the car and see how it performs on the track.
“We’ve tried to understand where the problems of correlation come from. We’ve tried to understand what we have done differently from others, and we’ve looked at the concepts around us.
“And then we’re going to wait for the first few laps in Barcelona to make sure that we measure everything that happens in the car and that we’re in line with the wind tunnel.”