Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Paul Ricard, 2019

Steiner expects rivals are also puzzled by “weird” performance

2019 French Grand Prix

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes his team is not the only one which is struggling to understand the variations in car performance at the French Grand Prix.

Steiner said the qualifying session was “absolutely not to our liking” as Haas lapped just three-tenths of a second faster than last year, the smallest improvement of any team.

“The whole weekend was weird,” he said. “If you look in the sessions too all of a sudden one team goes up to fifth-best and then they are down again. It’s all over the place and we don’t understand it.

“If I could know what is happening we could fix it. At the moment we don’t know what we need to fix and that is what we are discussing, what actually is going wrong here, if there would be an easy answer.

“The thing is, if it is only yourself but you look at the other ones, they must be confused as well because the swings are quite dramatic. We don’t understand, I don’t think the other ones do because otherwise they wouldn’t have the swings, that is what I guess.”

The Haas drivers qualified on row eight. Steiner said their feedback has been that the car simply lacks pace.

“The balance sometimes seems not too bad, the drivers say,” he explained. “It’s just lap time, just the general level of grip. It’s not that they complain it’s massively over- or under-steering, we’re just not fast. It is very odd.”

Earlier in the season the team had much stronger qualifying pace than it did in the races, but Steiner believes they could be stronger on Sunday this weekend.

“We tried a lot over the weekend and we were hoping that it comes towards us in the qualifying with the increased heat and track temperature but it didn’t. So here we are.

“Let’s see tomorrow because it seemed on Friday our race pace was not too bad, not as bad as it was in the last race in Canada so maybe we can do something there.”

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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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