RICH ENERGY HAAS F1 LOOK TO THE STREETS OF BAKU FOR POINTS
After only picking up points in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team look to the streets of Baku to increase on there current P6 position.
Having fallen behind McLaren, Renault and Alfa Romeo, American team Rich Energy Haas F1 have expressed concern ahead of the Azerbaijan GP. Whilst both drivers haven't managed to secure many points thus far, Magnussen and teammate Romain Grosjean have shown speed, advancing to the final round of qualifying in every event this season. The issue, however, has been carrying that speed through the race
Both Grosjean and Magnussen have competed in every Formula One race held in Baku, with the highlight being Magnussen’s seventh-place drive in 2017. The duo returns to Baku intent on regaining the form they showed on the streets of Melbourne and securing the points needed to put Rich Energy Haas F1 Team back atop the midfield
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Rich Energy Haas F1 Team speaks to Billions F1:
You’ve advanced to the final round of qualifying in every event this season. How has the team’s methodology and execution contributed to this run?
“I think you always have to execute in a perfect manner to get through to Q3. Having a good car to start off with helps a lot, then you just leave it to the drivers to get it done. I think race engineering has done a good job with that.”
Emulating the success of qualifying in the race has proven to be difficult, at least in the last two races. Have you been able to pinpoint why the speed shown in qualifying has been difficult to replicate in the race?
“Yes, 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. Hopefully we’ll get on top of that one, sort the problem, and be as competitive in the race as we are in qualifying.”
The tires seem to have an even smaller operating window than they did last year. Is that accurate, or is it more a matter of getting the tires into their operating window rather than keeping them in that window?
“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 tires 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.”
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team had speed throughout the Australian Grand Prix race weekend. With it taking place at a street circuit, do you envision some carryover of that kind of sustained speed when you return to Baku City Circuit?
“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 tires into the window. Otherwise, Baku could be another difficult circuit for us.”
Baku has been described as a mix between Monza and Monaco. That means high speeds at a very tight track. How do you expect this year’s new aero package to impact the race, both in terms of the speed you can achieve and the overtaking opportunities that will be available?
“You always expect the unexpected, but we need to get lucky at some stage because, up until now, we haven’t had a lot of good luck. Hopefully, if something should happen, we’ll be in a good position and can get something out of it in a good way for us.”