Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the reason his team has struggled so much this season is because it hasn’t made any progress with its 2019 car.
Pre-season testing and the Australian Grand Prix looked encouraging for Haas, with the team looking like a serious threat for fourth in the constructors’ championship and the title of best of the midfield teams behind the top three. However, its performance dropped off rapidly and Steiner says changing car specifications in recent races has demonstrated no significant improvements have been made.
“Since two or three races ago we know where pretty well where we are at,” Steiner said. “Changing over to the Melbourne spec helped a lot to understand it and get the reality of where we are at. That’s what that was done, because the Melbourne spec is as good as this one, so we know what that means: we didn’t make any progress.
“And everybody else did — especially the first year with the new regulations, you make progress and we didn’t. That is where we are and that’s why the car was good in testing and Melbourne, and then we just stood still.”
Haas will run its latest specification of car in Singapore before using elements of the older specification in Russia in search of the ideal performance. Steiner says it would be unfair to pin any future hopes of improvements by Pirelli with its tires, given how Haas has struggled to develop its car this year.
“I don’t rely on Pirelli because we haven’t seen a solution yet, so we cannot rely on it, to be honest. Because, why did we end up this way? Even with a different tire we’ve seen that we wouldn’t drop off this brutally but we would still not be fast enough. We need to work on ourselves. We didn’t react well when we learned about the tire, and what we did didn’t help it.
“This tire just needs loads of downforce to make it work. This is what we haven’t got — it’s pretty obvious out there when you see it. So I’m not relying on Pirelli that they will come up with a magic tire, because even a magic tire we wouldn’t be fast because the others would still go faster. The drop-off wouldn’t be so brutal in the race but the rest would be pretty similar.
“So we need to work on ourselves and then just see what Pirelli comes up with. And hopefully the tire is not worse than this one.”