Romain Grosjean, Haas, Interlagos, 2019

Haas’s real problem in 2019 wasn’t tyres, says Grosjean

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In the round-up: Romain Grosjean says Haas’s problems in 2019 were down to its car, not the tyres.

What they say

[icon2019autocoursempu]Haas team principal Guenther Steiner called F1 “the championship of the tyre working range” earlier in the year and described Pirelli’s compounds as being like a “Kinder Surprise” chocolate as the team struggled to make its VF-19 work. But at the end of the season Grosjean saw things differently:

In all fairness, I don’t think our problem was [at] any time tyres. I think it was just our car that wasn’t good and initially we blamed the tyres because we were struggling to generate temperature but why when nine other teams can do it – well, maybe eight?

It was just our car that was not good enough from day one and had some weaknesses and we just kind of didn’t see them. So I don’t think our problem was tyres. Tyres is a problem in general, but it wasn’t our main issue.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

How long will it take electric vehicles to get on par with F1’s hybrids?

I’m pretty sure electric will overtake hybrid racing sooner than ‘decades’ from now also because no matter how much FIA or petrolheads will stay anchored to an ancient tech, the moment constructors will consider the switch to full electric best for their interests there will be no one racing with fossil fuel.

How can Mercedes or Renault justify with their investors that they are putting millions in a technology that is no more relevant for their road production in, say, 5 to 10 years? VW has plans to produce 25% of fully electric vehicles by 2025, 40% by 2030 [1]. It’s 10 years from now. Any big company won’t be far behind the leading one, so we should expect a full throttle race to ramp up EV productions. Once we’re at 40, how much will it take to go reach 100%?

Once those large percentages of produced cars will be EV, investments in hybrid racing will be zeroed in the time of a boards of directors meeting.
Matteo (@M-bagattini)

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On this day in F1

  • Born on this day in 1968: Karl Wendlinger, who was part of Mercedes’ junior sports car team alongside Michael Schumacher, graduated to F1, but was badly injured in a crash at Monaco in 1994

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  • 24 comments on “Haas’s real problem in 2019 wasn’t tyres, says Grosjean”

    1. Grojean’s comment is spot on. The trouble was with the 2018 Ferrari leftovers. 2020 Haas will be much better because the 2019 Ferrari was better on its tyres.

      Le Mans Hyperpole? Please don’t give F1 anymore ideas: HyperReversed Grid – with a 20 minute shootout to claim the slowest of the slow title.

      1. In the past few years, Haas has done well on even-numbered seasons. Hence, I fully expect them to have a banger of a 2020.

        Excuse the small sample size though :P

      2. It sure is, and I think it shows why the team is happy to keep Grosjean for his car development / understanding skills @jimmi-cynic

      3. I’m curious to see what they will do in 2021, because they won’t be able to use the 2020 Ferrari.

        1. From the looks of it you won’t be able to mess that up too much.

      4. Yes, haas talked about not having hydraulic suspension available. 2019 construction was also aerodynamically different.

      5. Why do the posters at this website seem to think that HaasF1 is using year-old Ferrari parts on their cars? 2018 parts in 2019? 2019 parts in 2020. As far as I know, that a fundamental misunderstanding of the contract between Ferrari and Haas. I believe Haas is using current-year parts as far as the allowed part sharing goes. The difference is that the basic tub and all of the aero parts are independently produced by Haas in conjunction with Dallara. Putting current-year Ferrari suspension onto the Dallara-produced chassis is not going to give you the equivalent of a current-year Ferrari car. All of the shared parts have to be integrated with the Dallara chassis and then made to work together properly before you even throw in the FIA-required unique aero. It’s not that the arts are a year old. It’s that a car’s performance is in the way all of the parts are integrated into a whole. HaasF1 cannot (yet, at least) match a giant like Ferrari at delivering the total package.

    2. Perhaps Grosjean is slightly looking past the fact that team had 2 drivers who weren’t very good?

        1. They couldnt manage the tires, nor the drivers.

      1. I assume you think that putting Hamilton into the Haas car would yield podiums and wins? Too much weight is put on the drivers’ abilities by fans criticizing Haas. You can’t accurately evaluate a driver who is operating an ill-handling car and taking big risks to try to salvage something out of each race. Granted Magnussen and Grosjean are not the best in the sport, but I doubt Haas could afford to hire any other drivers who would have scored more points for them. Give it a rest.

    3. Haas are a joke.

      They pretty much took Ferrari’s 2018 chassis, which was really strong, and then added their own input and made an undriveable car. To top it off, they had to two drivers who were consistently putting in mediocre to poor performances, who they’ve gladly singed for the next season. They go around blaming tyres for an entire season and putting Pirelli in disrepute, when they should have been building the basic competency of an F1 racing team.

      While I do not want any more teams on the grid to leave F1, Haas is the team I would miss the least once they’re gone.

      1. Maybe the Haas would have worked well with a 2018 spec front wing. But the rules changed and so did the airflow coming from the new 2019 spec wings.

        1. The 2019 wings were supposed to make it easier to overtake.
          It worked; the Haas cars were overtaken many times…

      2. A tired, biased, evaluation of HaasF1 based upon gossip and conspiracy theories. I guess we are all biased, but I am very tired of hearing this evaluation of HaasF1. They are doing their best and they do not need to be bailed out by F1 or the FIA ignoring their own regulations. They produced a stinker of a car this year and were behind the 8-ball all year long. That’s the truth. It’s also true that Pirelli’s tires had a very narrow window within which they would function properly. If your chassis couldn’t hit that window consistently the tires were, indeed, crap. Pirelli alone is responsible for its reputation. Year after year, their tires favor some cars over others, and we’ve even seen them redesign the tire at mid-season after the basic engineering of the cars was long over. Since Pirelli is a SPEC part supplier, they ought to be producing tires that perform on a wider window. That’s what SPEC parts are supposed to do.

    4. While I too suspect the problem Haas had was mostly in their garage, I disagree with him about whom to blame and think most of that problem wasn’t their car, but their understanding of how the car needed to be set up for those tyres.
      Maybe I’m being a bit strong in this opinion, but I can’t see any reason to excuse the Haas team from their lack of understanding of the tyres. Unfortunately for Haas next season will continue to use the same spec tyres as this season. I guess one fortunate aspect is they could spend the break trying to correlate the set up of their car to the performance they got from the tyres.

      1. Please guys, this “Haas used last years ferrari” stuff need to be based on facts. Please back up the claims with some facts + compare to what other teams purchase from sub suppliers (Wheels, brakes, suspension systems, gearboxes etc.) “It needs to be pointed out that despite ill-informed media comments, Haas runs an independent programme to Ferrari where required by the regulations. So, whilst Haas will receive the CAD data from Ferrari on the parts it buys in, it runs separate staff and resources for its chassis and aero programme under FIA monitoring. Thus, the Haas is not a Ferrari copy, none of the bodywork design can be attributed to Ferrari, so they are quite independent in this regard” Quote from Motorsport.tech

    5. “My wardrobe was red, my duvet covers were red. Everything was red.”
      – Tells something about his liking towards Ferrari at the time.

    6. While I don’t disagree entirely with the COTD, I have to say that I take anything VW says re electrification of it’s range with a pinch of salt. This is afterall a company which is trying to improve it’s image in the wake of the dieselgate scandal…

      1. I’m not convinced that there are enough minerals, such as cobalt, to produce the batteries required to meet the targets for electric cars. And there are better uses for the batteries, like energy storage for a green power industry.
        https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-lithium-electric-tesla-exclusive/exclusive-tesla-expects-global-shortage-of-electric-vehicle-battery-minerals-sources-idUKKCN1S81QY

        And unless there is a massive improvement in battery technology, how big would the battery need to be for a 300+km or 2 hour F1 race with performance close to today’s cars.

    7. Pirelli is still waiting for an apology after all that slander, Mr. Steiner..

      I’m so glad that Haas isn’t flourishing, it would be a very bad precedent if a team comes in with a skeleton crew and a bag of money to buy every part possible from other teams and than be a serious competitor. It is a slippery slope to a spec series.

      1. The slippery slope goes more logarithmic post 2021.

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