Guenther Steiner believes Formula 1 should not be as dependent on tire performance as it is at present after another poor performance from Haas at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Haas has struggled to make its tires work in race trim at three of the four races so far this season, with Kevin Magnussen’s sixth place in Australia the team’s only score. With both drivers regularly reaching Q3, the car is clearly quick, and while Steiner says his team needs to do better the Haas team principal is frustrated by how big an influence the Pirelli tires have.
“It’s just who is (struggling) more or less and we are more,” Steiner said. “It’s so disappointing because we’ve got a good car. We shouldn’t always be talking about whether a tire works or not. It’s interesting but it’s not Formula 1 in my opinion.
“‘Did you get the tire to work?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Oh, then I’m fast.’ ‘My tire didn’t work so then I’m slow…’ We spend millions and millions to develop these cars and then you’re out of the window and we cannot get going.
“I’m very open with you guys. I’m not blaming it purely on Pirelli, I’m blaming it on us as well because some get it to work, but in general this is not the right thing. We shouldn’t be talking after a race about did your tire work or not.”
Although Steiner had already warned Haas was likely to struggle in Baku — where Romain Grosjean retired and Magnussen finished 13th — he admits it was still a painful race to be part of.
“It’s still never good when you get the disappointment. So it is quite disappointing. Or very disappointing.
“We will fix this problem, obviously, it’s just like we were fast at the test, we were fast in Australia, we qualify (strongly). But at the moment we seem not to get it right.
“Everyone has got issues with the tires, you can see it. When we go into the graining phase we cannot get out of it because our tire gets too cold and then we are done — we slide around.
“We’ve got four or five laps, we go fast, then the graining starts to go. Other people recover after the graining but we don’t, because our temperature is too low and we just cannot get it to work anymore once the graining clears.”