Nico Hulkenberg, Haas, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023

Haas treating Austrian GP like “test session” to tackle tyre degradation woes

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In the round-up: Haas will use the Austrian Grand Prix sprint weekend as an opportunity to investigate the tyre degradation problems which have blighted their season.

In brief

Haas “have a few ideas” to fix poor race pace

The difficulties Haas have experienced with their tyre performance over a race stint were highlighted in Canada, where Nico Hulkenberg qualified second (before collecting a penalty) but fell to 15th in the race.

At the Red Bull Ring, where F1 will hold a sprint race on Saturday in addition to the grand prix, team principal Guenther Steiner said they will concentrate their efforts on tackling those problems.

“We’re going into this race partly a little bit like a test session as well,” Steiner said. “We have a lot of things to try and cure our problems with the race pace, so we have a few ideas.

“As we have two races now this weekend, we’ve got double the amount of time to try to do different things. Obviously, we always try to get the best result possible but also maybe we compromise the best result possible for really understanding what is happening with our car on race day.”

Wurz ruled out of racing at Spa by doctor

Charlie Wurz, son of two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Alexander, has been ruled out of this weekend’s Formula Regional European Championship round at Spa-Francorchamps on medical grounds.

The 17-year-old, who was Formula 4 United Arab Emirates champion last year and Formula Regional Oceania champion at the start of 2023, has caught laryngitis. Although he felt fit enough to attempt to race, he is following doctor’s advice not to do so.

“I’m gutted but will be in action very soon,” said Wurz, who has scored only once in his first six FREC races.

His place in ART Grand Prix’s line-up for the weekend will be taken by former Alpine protege Hadrien David, who was 2021 FREC runner-up and came fourth in the series last year. ART GP were quick to sign David, and cited a need to use his experience to help them return to the front of the field as they only have one top-five finish so far this season across their three cars.

Cresswell to make F3 debut

There will be a change to the usual Formula 3 grid at the Austrian GP and at the British Grand Prix the week after, as PHM Racing by Charouz will replace Polish rookie Piotr Wisnicki with McKenzy Cresswell.

Wisnicki has only scored six times in his 61-race single-seater career, and struggled to feature in the top 20 of races since graduating from F4 last year. He never finished higher than 21st in FREC, yet chose to step up to F3 for 2023 and has only recorded a best finish of 18th from eight races.

Teenager Cresswell arrives in his seat with no F3-level experience, but is in his second year racing in Britain’s GB3 series. “It’s been whirlwind few days, having learned of this opportunity at the end of last week,” he said. “Big thanks to Roland Rehfeld at PHM and Tony Shaw, my GB3 engineer, for making this happen. I will try my best to adapt quickly and get the best results possible.

“Red Bull Ring will be an exciting challenge,” he added. “It’s a new car and new circuit for me.”

F1 23 gets its first patch for console gamers

Electronic Arts, the developer of the latest official Formula 1 video game F1 23, has announced the first patch for the game will be made available to download “in the coming days”.

The patch addresses 18 faults including the two-player career mode incorrectly using equal performance instead of realistic performance, making sure the formation lap and any safety car laps are now playable on 25% length races, fixing an issue where “cars would incorrectly collide when the setting ‘collisions off for first lap only’ was enabled” and changing the name of the ‘Renault Driver Academy’ to the ‘Alpine Driver Academy’ in career mode.

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Comment of the day

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko doesn’t want the brand’s lead F1 driver Max Verstappen to join other Red Bull drivers in their ‘Formula Nurburgring’ event for fear that if Verstappen did a demonstration run he would take pointless risks in attempting to set a new track record for the circuit’s full Nordschleife layout.

I think this is complete nonsense. Max is not that stupid [to] risk his life in an old demo car.

Furthermore, I think it’s virtually impossible to be faster with a stock RB7. That would require extensive changes to the chassis and weeks of preparation, special tyres, suspension and aerodynamics. Max knows that, too, if he knows the record down to the second and has probably seen the video of the drive.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Danny D, Hezla, Stefano, Wanon, Tino852 and Buj!

On this day in motorsport

  • 25 years ago today Michael Schumacher led a Ferrari one-two in the French Grand Prix with Eddie Irvine

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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13 comments on “Haas treating Austrian GP like “test session” to tackle tyre degradation woes”

  1. Why don’t they test better drivers while they are at it. What a dire line-up that is.

    1. Their line for the budget they have is fine. Its the cars tyre munching sprees thats their main issue. The’d be a lot better points wise if they can minimise that at least.

    2. Magnussen is a wasted seat, but Hulkenberg is a perfectly good driver. Terrible tire life is almost always about a bad suspension geometry or other very fundamental flaw that is unlikely to be solved quickly.

      Ironically, the problem ruining their race runs is likely the #1 reason they show such good qualifying pace. The chassis lights their tires up instantly.

  2. Anyone who thinks they deserve knighthood probably doesn’t deserve it!

    1. Anyone who thinks they deserve knighthood probably doesn’t deserve it!

      Like political office, anyone who actively seeks office should be barred for life.
      Pick people with a CV that qualifies them and a track record of recruiting their replacement for every job they ever had.

    2. Whilst accepting what you say in principle, I’d like to hear the whole conversation. This smacks of selective editing, a throwaway answer in response to a vague question about how hard it’s been to turn the company’s fortunes around.

    3. It’s one of the most accurate axioms ever.

      Anyway, unless he was saying it tongue in cheek or partly (he could have said it in a tone or context completely omitted to generate a juicy headline and plenty of clicks), it’s a a startlingly tone deaf statement. However, he does have a point that his work and investment has saved thousand of jobs at AM, which IMO, is more valuable than a sport achievement.

  3. Not the first time teams have treated a race weekend in such a way.

    COTD: Indeed, but maybe someday.

  4. Haas treating Austrian GP like “test session” to tackle tyre degradation woes

    Haas – problems with tyre degradation (OK, with Pirelli everyone does to an extent)
    Ferrari – problems with tyre degradation.
    Remind me again, where does Haas buy most of the parts? Particularly suspension?
    and Ferrari don’t understand the origin of their tyre degradation?

    1. Yeah, I have also wondered about this.

    2. Coventry Climax
      28th June 2023, 18:50

      Yep, that’s development work outside of Ferrari’s budget alright.

      There’s why Alfa Tauri will become RedBull B, and I have little doubt Vowles still does the odd job for Mercedes.
      Basically, this is converging to more than two cars per team. My belief is they are sort of pushed that way by the current regulations. It’s what Wolff has wanted all along, but I feel thinning out the competition isn’t good for F1.

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