Kevin Magnussen says Haas is working “flat out” to understand its race performance issues with its VF-23, amid recent struggles.
Haas has qualified strongly at several events this year, including fourth for Magnussen in Miami and a pre-penalty second for Nico Hulkenberg in Canada, but has regressed in race trim.
Haas has scored points on only three occasions this year and last troubled the top 10 during the race in Miami.
“That’s what we’re investigating flat out right now: where is the issue, and we understand the consequence of our issues, but finding the root cause of our issues is obviously the tricky part, right?,” said Magnussen on Thursday in Austria.
“Generally throughout the weekends, one session you’re P8, the next P18, then back in P10.
“The window of where it works well is very narrow. When it does work well it’s very good, we can qualify P5 and when it’s not then we’re out of Q1, so it’s very much up and down.”
The situation draws parallels with Haas’ struggles during the 2019 season but Magnussen has suggested the cause is not the same.
“It feels like it’s a more fundamental issue than just set-up, but I think compared to 2019 it’s a very different set of regulations, the cars are much different this time, so we can’t point to the same place on the car and say ‘it’s that bit again’,” he said.
“It’s the same sort of issue where we can be fast on one lap then over a stint we wear our tyres more and we have a harder time in traffic than our competitors.
“When we’re alone in free air we’re more or less where we expect to be, it’s when we fall into traffic or when it’s tough on tyres, bumpy, stuff like this, the inconsistencies are too big.”