Haas team principal Guenther Steiner does not expect his team to be able to get on top of its car struggles during the remainder of this season.
Strong qualifying pace often gives way to difficult races for Haas, with the Japanese Grand Prix a prime example as Romain Grosjean qualified in the top 10 but faded from contention. Steiner says the team has built up a good understanding of its problems throughout this season but with only four rounds remaining, he is not expecting any major solutions with the current car.
“Not short-term,” Steiner said. “We know where we are and why we are where we are, but to fix it is a different issue and I don’t know if we can get on top of it this year consistently. There’s only four races left anyway but maybe we’ve got one or the other good day in general.
“It’s not like I can tell you that in the next two races we will bring an upgrade that will sort the problem. We just need to make sure that this doesn’t happen next year, because it’s quite consuming.”
Steiner explains it is a vicious cycle for Haas in the race because once it starts to struggle with its tires and loses track position, it then has its pace impacted even more.
“You go into the race always knowing that at some stage we will have an issue with the tire because we cannot generate the heat we need to make the tire work, so as blue flags come in you slow down, the tire gets cold, we cannot get the heat back in and you fall back.
“It sounds almost too simple not to have a solution for it but that is what is happening. So even if we can qualify on one lap decently, normally — going into Q3 is still an achievement in my opinion — we cannot hold on in the race for this reason. We just cannot keep the heat in the tires.”
Of the four remaining races this year, Steiner added: “Some more (painful) than others. Mexico will be bad. The air is lighter.”