Haas will be able to better focus on the problems with its car as a result of opting for stability with its driver line-up in 2020, according to team principal Guenther Steiner.
Romain Grosjean has been retained for a further year alongside Kevin Magnussen, despite Haas holding an interest in Nico Hulkenberg after the German was dropped by Renault. Steiner says the move is designed to minimize the variables at a time when the team is working to improve its car after a season that began strongly but has faded rapidly since.
“The aim is to keep stable things that work in the team,” Steiner said. “At the moment, we don’t have a driver problem, we have a problem with the car. We don’t want to lose sight of that. Instead, we’ll focus on other aspects that we need to focus on. We leave the other stuff alone.
“It’s helpful – as now my main focus is on next year’s car – to try to make it the best possible from the situation we’re in this year. I’m pretty sure we’ll get out of it, because we have a good understanding. It’s also decision time on the 2021 regulations, which are not only down to me, but it takes some work being involved and making sure the regulations are what we would like them to be.”
Steiner says Haas has developed a solid understanding of what it wrong with its current car, and the focus now is on finding solutions for next year that will apply across different types of tracks.
“The more kilometers you do, the more you learn,” he said. “Doing it in racing or testing, it doesn’t make a big difference, but maybe you can see if the tire doesn’t overheat as much. At the moment, we’re in a phase where we know what the car is doing, we’re just trying to find the better spec for each circuit – that’s why we’re doing it. We’re not experimenting with it anymore. We’re actually putting the packages on how we think it is best suited.
“Obviously, all this work is brought forward to next year, because next year’s car will be an evolution, as there’s no regulation change. This year it was a new regulation, so whatever we learn on this car we can implement on next year’s car. That was our aim from halfway through the season when we realized we were struggling with our car. We want to make sure not to make the same mistakes on next year’s car – that was our main aim from midway through this season.”