Romain Grosjean, Haas, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Haas overheated Grosjean’s brakes trying to warm his tyres

2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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The brake failure which put Romain Grosjean out of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was indirectly caused by the team trying to increase his tyre temperatures.

Haas has been unable to generate sufficient heat in its tyres in several races this year. The low-grip Baku circuit exacerbated the problem, prompting the team to try increasingly extreme solutions.

However team principal Guenther Steiner admitted they had gone too far in trying to use the heat from Grosjean’s brakes to warm his rubber.

“The brake gives you a certain amount of energy you can put in, there is not more,” he said. “The brake cannot create endless energy to heat the tyre up.

“The brake is not made to heat the tyre, because then you overheat the brake. As with Romain in Baku, at some stage we overheated the brakes because we tried to push too hard on it. But we had nothing to lose so we needed to try.”

Steiner hopes the longer and more frequent corners at the Circuit de Catalunya will make it easier for Haas to get their tyres into the correct operating window. “The long corners, the energy you put in where you lean on the tyre, that is where we get the heat into the tyre,” he said. “That is how you should get heat in the tyre anyway to start off with.”

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019
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He said the problem is dominating their season at the moment. “We just need to get in the window by running the tyres warmer,” said Steiner. “It sounds almost too simplistic so you would be asking why we are not doing that. We don’t know how to get the temperature in the tyre, that is what I mean by that.

“We are not the only ones – maybe we are affected more than other people, I fully admit that – but I think there’s a lot of people which are in the same boat. When we are talking on Monday we talk ‘was I in the window or not’? We don’t talk about how good the race or what happened, we keep on talking about tyres. ‘I was in the window, I was not in the window’, everything is about the window at the moment.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “Haas overheated Grosjean’s brakes trying to warm his tyres”

  1. So he’s DNF was the team’s fault after all.

  2. All these tyre talk is jarring. And it’s just one supplier too. Its really robbing us quality racing across the grid.

    1. The Fia dictates how to develop the tires within specs. So they are responsible for the mess.
      But it seems Pir is gone to far and now we have tires that only a couple of teams are able to run in the desired “”window”.
      Steiner is right.. tires should not be the main discussion after a race.
      Fia should step in!

      1. The Fia dictates how to develop the tires within specs.

        Not true.

        The only thing the FIA dictate is the dimensions, If there slicks or groves & things such as how many sets each team gets. And from 2013 at the request of Pirelli the FIA now also regulate Pirelli’s recommended minimum pressures & Camber levels.

        In the past they did request that Pirelli try & come up with a tyre to ensure 2-3 pit stops but never actually told them how to go about doing that & since 2016 have actually backed away from that request.

        In terms of how Pirelli actually make the tyres & how the tyres actually operate that is 100% down to Pirelli with zero input from the FIA.

      2. The FIA should or someone should.

        Liberty and the FIA keep demanding that costs be lower and teams are having to spend a fortune trying to make design changes just to get the tires to work.

        Not only are the tyres difficult for all teams, Pirelli are changing tyre pressures on the fly that makes it even more difficult for teams to even set their cars up on race weekends.

        Frankly something must be done – even if it’s going back to last year’s compounds as it’s ruining what initially looked like it would be a good season.

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