Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says Haas must “find a solution” to the tyre degradation problems that hampered both cars in the Spanish Grand Prix.
While Kevin Magnussen was an early casualty from Q1, Nico Hulkenberg delivered an exceptional effort in qualifying to wound up seventh on the grid for Sunday’s race.
However, the German was unable to maintain a place inside the top 10, rapidly being relegated down the order once he ran into trouble with fastly wearing tyres.
The American outfit eventually had to pit its drivers three times – once more than the rest of the grid – and Steiner contends the team needs to go “back to the drawing board” to understand the issues.
“Quite a disappointing result today, we just couldn’t get the tyres to stay alive,” Steiner acknowledged. “We did one more pit stop than everyone else, but even if we hadn’t stopped, we would’ve gone slower and ended up there anyway.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and try to find a solution to our tyre degradation.”
A failure to keep the tyres in competitive shape over the course of a race stint has been a regular weakness of Haas’ VF-23 package and has often seen the squad fumble promising starting positions.
Hulkenberg, who crossed the line a disappointing 15th, echoed Steiner’s comments, underlining that Haas has work to do to translate its searing one-lap potential into race trim.
“It was tough,” Hulkenberg added. “Unfortunately, the degradation was really high for us and we had to three-stop whereas the competition didn’t.
“It looks at first glance that over one lap we’re competitive but in the long runs we still have some homework to do and some pace to find.”
Meanwhile, having already had his weekend compromised by a poor Saturday showing, Magnussen states his chances of mounting a fightback were also thwarted by the tyre complications Haas endured.
“It was a tough day in terms of tyre management,” the Dane rued. “At the beginning of every stint, it was quite competitive compared to everyone we were fighting, but our tyres just fell off quickly and we had to three-stop which wasn’t optimal.
“Hopefully we can try and learn about what caused it to improve, but certainly it was a tough race. When you have a bad weekend like this, you tend to find some interesting answers and that’s what I’m hoping for now – onto the next one.”
Haas’ failure to score points in Barcelona opened the door for Alfa Romeo, courtesy of Zhou Guanyu’s ninth place, to draw level with the Kannapolis side in the battle for seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship.
Both Ferrari-powered customer teams currently reside on eight points, six points ahead of AlphaTauri, who squandered points when Yuki Tsunoda was hit with a five-second time penalty.