Haas will be bringing significant upgrades to its car at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Teams regularly mark the start of the European season by introducing new developments on their cars, and after Haas’s struggles over the first part of the year, team principal Guenther Steiner says a number of new parts will appear in Spain.
“We’re bringing our first upgrades of the year,” Steiner said. “A lot of parts on the car will change – the front wing, the floor and a lot of the smaller parts, like mirrors. It’s a quite significant upgrade.
“It’s very important (because) … we have a lot of data. We need to make sure that everything still correlates after four races and that our upgrade works, as well. We’re looking forward to it, to see where we compare from our time there in pre-season testing.
“It isn’t really that you can go back and compare the first four races, but Barcelona always affords a good point to regroup after the early long-haul races. We’re back in Europe, we’ve got upgrades coming, but you’ve got more to look at with Barcelona because we ran our pre-season testing there.”
Steiner admitted that the recent tire issues Haas has been facing are still a concern, but said that he expects the team’s performance in Barcelona during pre-season testing gives cause for optimism that this race will be better.
“It’s very important,” he said. “We’ve had four races and only one was almost completely executed – in Australia – and I say ‘almost’, as we only had one car at the finish. We know we can qualify well. Barcelona in pre-season testing was a very good track for us. We looked very competitive, but we need to show it in a race weekend. We want to show everyone how good we should be if we get the tires to work.
“The hope is that it all works as it did in pre-season testing. We’ve obviously lost a little bit of confidence after the last three race weekends, but we haven’t lost it completely. We’re just careful to make predictions. We are cautiously optimistic.”
With other teams also set to introduce new parts in Barcelona, Romain Grosjean warned there is no guarantee Haas will return to the front of the midfield even if it gets the tires working properly in Barcelona.
“You also know everyone’s going to bring big updates, so it’s almost like everyone’s going to have a B-car, therefore the standings could be a bit different,” Grosjean said. “I think it’s important that our updates go in the right direction. It’s important, as we know what we can do there. We’ll see if we can repeat that and understand where our race pace has gone.”