Romain Grosjean, Haas, Suzuka, 2019

Blue flags trigger Haas’s tyre problems – Steiner

2019 F1 season

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Haas’s tyre problems are worsened when their drivers have to slow down to be lapped, Guenther Steiner has revealed.

The team has struggled all year to keep its tyres in the optimum temperature operating window during races. Steiner admitted that backing off for blue flags is a significant contributor to their problems.

“You go in the race always knowing that at some stage we will have an issue with the tyre because we can’t generate the heat we need to make the tyre work,” said Steiner. “So as soon as blue flags come you slow down, the tyre gets cold, you cannot get the heat back in and you fall back.”

“It sounds almost too simple not to have a solution for it but that’s what is happening,” he added. “So even if you can qualify on one lap normally decently – going into Q3 is still an achievement in my opinion – you cannot hold on in the race because of this reason, we just cannot keep the heat in the tyres.”

The team won’t have a “short term fix” for the problem this year, Steiner admitted.

“We know where we are, and why we are, but to fix it, it’s a different issue and I don’t know if we can get on top of it this year consistently. Maybe we have got a one-off, there’s only four races left anyway but you get one or other good day.

“But in general it’s not like I [can] tell you in the next two races we’ll bring an upgrade kit which will solve the problem. We just need to make sure that this doesn’t happen next year because it’s [time] consuming.”

The team is concerned the problem will be especially acute in Mexico, as it has not been competitive on previous races at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

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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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  • 15 comments on “Blue flags trigger Haas’s tyre problems – Steiner”

    1. Yeah.. I’m sure those 3 or 4 moments every race when the Mercedes and Ferrari cars lap them is a huge problem for Haas.
      I’m sure that’s really a big issue for them… it doesn’t matter that they are outsourcing all a racing team’s functions to Dallara and Ferrari and hence, are not really prepared to go racing in F1. It doesn’t matter that they don’t understand tyres or chassis or engine … but the blue flags… that’s a major concern for Haas.

      1. This has been a complaint of many teams for many years. Once you back off, go off line and get marbles on your tyre, your stint is done and you can’t get the tyres back into the window.

        1. Every midfield team has to deal with lapping. You don’t hear any of them whining on about how they can’t manage their tyres because they lose temperature when the front runners lap them.

          I’m surprised at the numerous excuses and whinge topics Steiner can actually pull out of his bag. Instead of just admitting that they’re struggling because they can’t understand a car built by their partners they would like to blame blue flags instead.

    2. If blue flags are causing an issue, it strikes me the solutions easy… Get quicker drivers!

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        23rd October 2019, 9:34

        Magnussen and especially Grosjean are not slow. But they are both quite error prone. This has nothing to do with the car struggling to maintain tyres in good condition.

        Many say Hamilton is excellent at looking after tyres, but i don’t know when he’s ever been in a poor car. He often complains of any tiny issue with his Mercedes so I don’t know what he would be like driving something like this. Hass seem to go backwards every year. But Grosjean usually seems to be better than Magnessen at driving what at the moment seems a terrible car on the long run on race day.

        1. It is interesting. Maybe their drivers lack of consistency doesn’t help keep the tyres in the window. Remember Alonso used to say in traffic how bad the midfield were of hitting the same apex every lap. Rhythm surely must be a big part of keeping the tyres together.

          I think Lewis would struggle with this car but by being a better driver he would suffer alot less. Long time ago but in 2009 he had a bit of a dog of a car and got some good results in it before it was improved. But did also make errors, Monaco rings a bell.

        2. @thegianthogweed:

          [Hamilton] often complains of any tiny issue with his Mercedes

          Also known as “giving feedback for the engineers to improve the car”. If the car is as good as most people think it is, maybe there are only tiny issues to fix?

          Not directed specifically at Ben, I’ve seen a few comments recently along the lines of Hamilton’s only good because he’s in a good car. Well, how do you think he ended up in a good car? The best drivers tend to end up in the best cars, and as long as they keep winning why would their teams replace them?

          1. My point is that he’s one of the only drivers who had always been in a good if not excellent car. Even at its worst is still better than what many drivers have to put up with. I understand this isn’t directly at me, but if the car is at all twitchy or difficult, hamilton really does look to struggle in practice pretty often. His feedback as well as Mercedes is obviously good enough to get it right for qualifying and the race, but if he was at another team such as Williams, I honestly think he really would struggle as they don’t have the money to put things right.

            What he says may be giving feedback but many say the same about Grosjean. He moans a lot but i guess we never know, some of the things that are not broadcast could be useful to the team, explaining why they kept both drivers.

            I just somehow get the impression that the amount Hamilton appears to complain in one of the best cars, i’m not convinced how good he would be in one of the worst cars out there until i get the chance to see. But he’s good enough to deserve to stay where he is so there is no point doing this.

            1. Though don’t forget that we hear Hamilton because he’s a big name, others’ radio (Grosjean, Magnussen, and even Vettel/Leclerc) is played when it’s clear what the issue is, apart from those that are fighting for the lead, if there’s a fight on, those we do hear more.

    3. I understand why they hang on to experienced drivers. Mag and Gro must spend their race trying to keep the right heat in those tyres and it seems difficult. Both are highly talented and fast but this must make it really taxing for them.

    4. Go faster…get better engineering…?

    5. Caterham , HRT & Marussia used to complain about this a lot as well & it has been something other mid-field teams have raised as an issue before.

      I think it was Timo Glock who said in 2012 that you slow down to let cars past or move offline onto the marbles & you lose temperature which then puts the tyres outside the operating window which costs you grip which then means you have to drive slower which then causes you to lose more temperature. If you try & go a bit faster because your outside the working range you slide more which then causes increased degredation.

      This is one of the less obvious problems of having such a small operating window, It hits the smaller teams harder than those at the front who have an easier job getting the tyres into & keeping them in the range they require.

    6. In other news, stop lights delay your drive to Grandma’s house :)

    7. Does it occur to anyone else that one of the reasons Hamilton has always been in a good car is that he gives useful feedback and works well with his engineers?

    8. So don’t get lapped.

    Comments are closed.