Kevin Magnussen: Problems hitting Haas at its weakest spot

Kevin Magnussen in action for Haas F1 Team at the British Grand Prix

Kevin Magnussen believes the small size of the Haas F1 Team has hurt its prospects of understanding the issues that have plagued its 2019 season.

Haas has regularly displayed strong pace in qualifying, lining up towards the front of the midfield, but has struggled for speed in races.

Haas drivers Magnussen and Romain Grosjean have regularly spoken of the VF-19 lacking grip in race trim, ostensibly owing to the car’s use of the tyres, and have scored only 16 points.

It has left Haas only ninth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Speaking before the Silverstone race, in which Haas suffered a double retirement after its drivers clashed on the opening lap, Magnussen said: “We see such great potential in the car in qualifying and then we can’t extract any of that potential in the race, it seems, right now.

“When you are part of this team and you see it from the inside… we shouldn’t be able to challenge Red Bull in qualifying pace [in Austria]. It shouldn’t be possible. When you see what we have to deal with compared to those big teams it’s crazy that we can even challenge them.

“We are disappointed we can’t do it in the race, but there’s got to be a way to find out why and we are working on that.

“I think we’ve been taken… it’s kind of hit us in our weak spot, this problem, I think. As it’s not a problem of designing a good car, I think we’ve done that, we’ve shown that in qualifying.

“There’s something stopping us from extracting the full potential of the car in a certain condition, in race condition, and it requires us to kind of analyse everything and come up with a solution.

“And it’s got to be a combination of lots of little different details, the solution, and that just takes analysing, going through numbers, going through simulations, going through lots of different calculations and analysis.

“Being the smallest team on the grid we lack people to do that.

“It’s hit us in our weakest… one of our only weak points as a team that we’ve got this very, very difficult tyre and we’ve ended up with a car that doesn’t use this tyre well in the race.”

Haas is Formula 1’s smallest team in terms of staff numbers and Magnussen feels that this is a crucial factor in the time it takes to address its problems.

“I think the team is working very well, just we need hours,” he said. “We need more hours. Or more people. But we haven’t got that. We haven’t got either of those things.

“The work they’re doing is very good. It’s just… it’s easier when you’ve got 1000 people looking at a problem than 100 looking at a problem.

“We don’t even have that because the whole 200 people we’re not all engineers so it’s tough problem to overcome for us right now. I’m confident we can do it over time.”