Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Hungaroring, 2019

Haas to race ‘hybrid’ of old- and new-spec cars

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In the round-up: After testing its current and original-spec VF-19 back-to-back, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the team intends to race a ‘hybrid’ of the two:


What they say

Romain Grosjean tested the original car for three races while Kevin Magnussen continued to drive the new version, but Steiner said the pair will use the same specification for the rest of the year:

We left the door open but it will be almost a hybrid. It won’t be completely the old car coming back, it will be a hybrid. What we found out with that car, how it is working aerodynamically, we can introduce some of those parts on this car for Sochi. That is the status and the car stays the same now.

But if one does it the other one does it. It will not be a comparison any more. We got that one figured out.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Teams are considering whether to test changes to the race format during the 2020 F1 season but @Dbradock doesn’t believe it’s needed:

The fact that Ross Brawn is even entertaining this sort of “spice up the show” is really disappointing. I’d have thought he’d be above the sort of gimmicky stuff that Liberty seems hell bent on bringing in.

Soon we’ll be seeing the drivers compete in a pushbike race or a swim leg or have to pair with a celebrity driver because for some reason Liberty thinks it has to have a “show”.

They used to call it the F1 circus back in the early 80’s but now they’re actually trying to turn it in to one.
DB-C90 (@Dbradock)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 28 comments on “Haas to race ‘hybrid’ of old- and new-spec cars”

    1. Call me outrageous but I’m of the thinking we’ll see Ocon driving a Renault in Singapore and Hulkenberg in a Haas.

      On the basis that Haas chooses Hulkenberg for 2020 what is Haas achieving by keeping Grosjean in his seat for the remainder of the season? Surely Haas would like to give Hulkenberg as much time in the seat and team before the 2020 season, and equally the same with Ocon at Renault. Its in Haas best interests to do so for that reason, but I’d say Hulkenberg would also score more points than Grosjean for the rest of the year.

      That gives a whole new meaning to Ocons test drive picture above doesn’t it?

      1. @hamish I highly doubt there’d be any more changes during the season in addition to the Red Bull-swap last month.

      2. Outrageous!

      3. You have to say the same for magnussen really Given he’s had far less reliability problems than Grosjean, I’d say he’s quite clearly doing worse than Grosjean.

        I know he is signed though but I do question why it is him over Grosjean. I think Grosjean has done better this year, but neither should be in the team really.

    2. Seems like Haas are going for the trial and error approach to car design this season.

    3. Best of old and new, at this point it seems logical, hope the cars a rocket, I wish them well.

    4. Indycar aeroscreen ? Looks good to me and undeniably safer as it will stop the (statistically minimal but still real) chance of a visor strike by a small object, stone, nut/bolt, bird etc.

      Re. COTD and the circus, let F1 adopt the classic Le Mans start, get rid of those wings but add the aeroscreen and tail-fin, ( howls of derision ) but the clincher, V12 engines, there, all fixed.

      1. Even Le Mans has given up on the Le Mans start.

    5. @Dbradock – you, sir, should be awarded with Comment of the Season! You are spot on! Those “show” remarks are sickening.

    6. Thanks for the COTD Keith. :)

      1. @dbradock Personally I am not at all disappointed that Brawn is taking the opportunity while he has it to see if the teams might be interested in at least giving a few options a try. Any changes to the current format are far from being decided, but if something were to add excitement or suspense and it made sense and everyone agreed, I say 2020 is a perfect time to see ahead of the reg changes for 2021.

        As Brawn explains, some of his motivation for change is to see if he can shorten the work week for the teams. I see nothing wrong with that, as I’m sure it would help reduce costs and make a higher number of races per season more doable for the teams’ personnel. I’m certainly glad Brawn is thinking of options and looking for consensus rather than just making knee jerk reactions. One example of a knee jerk reaction is to assume everything Brawn wants to do is to ‘spice up the show’ like that is all he thinks about and like that can only mean gimmicks and gadgets and Hollywood style tackiness. He, with the teams’ consensus might actually improve the show, and yes to me all sports need to put on a show and entertain us, or it wouldn’t be enthralling to keep watching year after year. To me televised sports is also an entertaining show and I’m not bothered when these descriptors are interchanged. I’m intrigued to see what the teams might consider and what those considerations might result in. They might do something that is better but that they won’t know until they try.

        1. And of course I’d expect that kind of response @robbie as you seem to consider that Brawn is the second coming and can do no wrong.

          I don’t disagree that he has some expertise as a former Team Principal/Team owner, but some of his discussion items of late have been quite baffling given he’s expressed contrary opinion on them in prior statements.

          Sometimes leadership involves standing up to the bosses and saying “no, we’re not putting that on the table” and “no 25 races is not feasible or desirable” instead of just following along with the masters wishes and floating “ideas”

          We will always have a completely different opinion so it’s not really worth debating but I reserve the right to say that I find some of his ideas disappointing as I expected better from him.

      2. @dbradock – good COTD. I wonder how much of this direction is being enforced on Brawn by higher up in Liberty. While they would definitely give him a lot of leeway in the shaping of technical regs as he is among the best in that, when it comes to other aspects such as the format of a weekend, nature of qualifying, etc., I wonder if these avenues of exploration are being gently imposed on him, since Liberty’s bigger picture is to grow the calendar (hence attempting to shorten weekends) and improve crowd turnout (converting qualifying into a mini race).

        1. + 1 yes I share your concerns @phylyp

        2. @dbradock @phylyp Where has he expressed contrary opinion? And of course Brawn works for Liberty, but of course there may be several things that Brawn has already told them would not work nor be feasible, and therefore no need to even take them to the teams, for all we know. I’m encouraged that he takes other ideas to the teams and looks for consensus. Yeah compared to BE/CVC Brawn is the second coming. Rather than the top 4 teams running the show and providing us with cars needing drs and financials that are unsustainable, Liberty and Brawn want to fix that. I’ll take their approach over BE/CVC any day and I’m so grateful that they’re there. I can’t imagine another entity doing better at trying to fix so many big problems in so little time, while including all the teams along the way. So for sure Liberty may be ‘gently imposing’ their wishes on Brawn, after all they bought F1 not he, but I see nothing to fear in what they are proposing, given that the teams will have to agree first and foremost.

          Bottom line for me, the positives of what Liberty and Brawn are doing far far outweigh any negatives that can be drummed up on paper, before they’ve even had their day in the sun to show us the new F1 on track, not just on paper. But the big meaty items have been tackled…the ones that I’m convinced will give us a much more exciting product on the track for years to come. Yup, I’m thrilled that they are resurrecting (as per the ‘second coming’ remark) F1 after the terrible BE/CVC era.

          1. @robbie – I don’t think all of the big meaty items have been addressed.

            One of the largest problems is the construction/quality of tyres. I’ve not seen any statement of intent from the holy trinity of the FIA/Liberty/Brawn* that this is going to be addressed for 2021. Not a peep about the 2021 compounds, or a revised approach from Pirelli in terms of how they implement designed-to-degrade tyres.

            The budget cap does not seem to cater to the fact that from 1-Nov-2019 until 31-Dec-2020 teams can continue to spend as much as they wish. As numerous commenters have pointed out, this is likely to have the effect that it will lock in the R&D effort of those teams who can afford to spend big during those 14 months.

            While I admire optimism, I prefer it in moderation, especially when there isn’t much grounds for it. This year, the cars aren’t exactly running closer despite the front wing outwash changes, as evidenced by the fact that DRS continues to be relied upon heavily (not to mention that DRS is being retained as a ‘plan B’ in a post-2020 environment).

            I respect Brawn, and am willing to give him the benefit of doubt for 2021, particularly since he’s dared to finally take F1’s aero in a direction different from what has been used for the last few decades, with a renewed focus on ground effects. To me, that will be a measure of whether he has succeeded or not.

            I also have an unfounded suspicion that the new regs are going to slip to 2022 – not only does this give all parties time to work out the details to a satisfactory extent (e.g. specifics of the standard parts), but it would also – by a happy circumstance – ensure the budget cap kicks in prior to the new regs. It would also give teams relative stability to assess Pirelli’s 18″ tyres (and their suspension setup) against stable 2017 aero regulations, instead of removing that baseline of comparison.

            * Hey, since we’re all into religious metaphors, I too would like to chip in :)

            1. @phylyp Of course I completely disagree that there isn’t much ground for optimism. That’s like saying there is no hope for F1 then, since what we have now is unsustainable.

              I’m confident the tires and what we will hear about them in the coming months will happen once the technical and sporting regs are made official. For now Pirelli has nothing to go by in terms of computer models, but they soon will and that is when I believe true discussions can start wrt tires.

              The budget cap issue, yeah not sure how they were ever going to avoid that contractually, and that may make for a less than ideal scenario initially. The good news is that they’re going in the right direction and any ‘locking in’ will be diminished over a small number of coming years as the cap gets deeper. The cap once implemented was never going to immediately cut the big teams off at the knees and suddenly make the lesser teams equivalent, but everything is going in a better direction that way.

              It is unfair to have expected too much from this year’s outwashing front wing as that is being done on cars inherently not meant to race closely. It was a small relatively inexpensive and easy to do bandage that was only meant to try to make a bad situation slightly better.

              Bumping of the changes to 2022? That wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I think they are poised to go as soon as possible, post-2020 Concorde Agreement (what would they do about 2021?) and how many people have already taken the opportunity to run Liberty and Brawn down for not already magically fixing everything? I think they would far prefer to start affecting change at the earliest possible time.

    7. haas been talking about suspension if bult their own suspension they could have solved their problems in a month, its been 6.

    8. A bad start for Championship-points leader Ott Tanak in Rally Turkey, and Toyota as a whole, although with the points-gap being as big as it is, he could afford to lose some ground on his nearest rivals in this one event.

      I couldn’t agree more with the COTD. Could even receive a ‘comment-of-the-year’ recognition.

      1. Comment of the year? A post that reeks of silly rhetoric and fear mongering? I don’t think so. It is cotd imho because it is debatable and extends the conversation.

    9. I agree with COTD….. although 🤔 perhaps the swim leg idea if confined to Monaco shouldn’t be discarded without trial. A lap or two of the pool with one WDC point awarded for fastest lap, another for best budgie smugglers (judged by an A list celebrity), and for those with a more horticultural bent or anatomically challenged the final point for the driver with the best “dried arrangement”
      A perfect opportunity also for the black and white flag for unsporting conduct such as dunking or divebombing.

      1. Well done. This made me laugh.

    10. Re COTD- It’s interesting that Ross is talking about reverse grids & Qualifying races now considering that in March he was saying he was against those things for been gimmicks.

      1. basically it confirms that he has no real control and that its the liberty people who don’t care for f1 as a sport that are pushing things through that have no business been anywhere near f1.

        1. @roger-ayles I have just responded to your similar remarks from the article that generated this cotd, and again reiterate that he does not now bring up reverse grids. He discounted them in March as too gimmicky, so it is like you are now reading what you want to read into Brawn’s current comments.

          He is currently only asking for teams’ consensus to trial various things. So this has nothing to do with him having no real control, nor Liberty not caring. I think this is your misguided take on things based on you reading into comments what you want to read in order to support an argument. He is not for gimmicks, so perhaps you should stop worrying that the teams will agree to even trialling gimmicks that won’t even be presented to them to consider.

    11. It was so promising after 2018 but now they are at the back of the pack. The car is quick but their inability to make it work completely wrecked their season.

    12. So… the Haas is now a hybrid hybrid? That seems a little rich.

    13. No one is getting even a little rich.
      Enough … now can it.

    Comments are closed.