A dismal day in the UK for Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team

A dismal day in the UK for Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team
Haas F1 Team will be back in action for the Spanish Grand Prix, to be held at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, from August 14 to 16. (Source: Haas F1 Team)

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean registered P16 while Kevin Magnussen was unable to finish the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, held at Silverstone, Great Britain.

Grosjean started P13 on Pirelli’s P Zero Yellow medium tires but on a typically feisty first lap relinquished positions, occupying P16, though rose up to P12 as his first stint unfolded. Grosjean was one of the last to pit, taking on the White hard tires on lap 17 of 52, before making a second stop on lap 39, again fitting the hard compound. Grosjean managed that tire through to the checkered flag to classify P16.

“The start, for me, was an issue – I don’t know what I did wrong, we need to look at everything,” said Grosjean. “After that I felt I had some good pace, but obviously being in traffic I was losing so much front air. Going into the high-speed stuff, I couldn’t pass the guys. I asked to go on a one-stop strategy, which was ‘Plan B’, but we were just too short of making it. But I still tried to go long on the hard tires, I was working to look after them. I was doing as much as I could. We were expecting front wear, but we got rear blisters. I guess that was the same story for everyone. It was windy out there, it was inconsistent because of the gusts, but I can push the car, I can drive it – our lap times were good. We need to work now on cooling down the rear tires when they get too hot. Our results don’t show much, but for us the pace wasn’t bad. I know where we can improve.”

Magnussen lined up P17 on the medium tires and rose four positions on the opening lap to P13 before heading to the pit lane on lap nine for hard tires. Magnussen continued his race and came in once more on lap 21 for more hard tires, though was compromised after incurring a five-second time penalty while battling Nicholas Latifi. Magnussen returned to the pit lane on lap 45 to retire his VF-20 on safety grounds amid worsening vibrations from the tires. 

“The car just hasn’t performed this weekend as we know it can,” said Magnussen. “We know it can perform, especially on a Sunday in race conditions. It just hasn’t happened this weekend. We had the crash last Sunday, and I think the parts that we put on as replacements, the floor and so on – they’re old parts, I can’t really say what else it could be. In my mind that has to be it as the car can be a lot better than this. It simply hasn’t worked this weekend and that’s unfortunate. I had a great start again, so I’ll take that away as a positive and try and continue to keep doing that. We know in normal circumstances the car is more competitive in the race than it is in qualifying. We need to keep getting those good starts and fight in those positions. Our job is to keep fighting.”

The result of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix leaves Haas F1 Team ninth in the Constructors’ Championship.

“It wasn’t a good afternoon,” said Guenther Steiner, Team Principal. “We tried again with our strategy to do different things, but it didn’t work out. We had to retire Kevin (Magnussen) at the end of the race as there were vibrations and we were not sure anymore how badly they’d affect the suspension. Romain (Grosjean), at some stage, we though we could get through with a one-stop. We weren’t sure and we didn’t want to take a risk as obviously to get into the points is very difficult anyway. So, there was no point to risk anything. We are happy to be leaving Silverstone, as nice as it was here with the weather and the sunshine, but we want to move on to the next race.”

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen claimed victory for the first time in the 2020 season with an aggressive two-stop strategy, with Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas second and third respectively.

Haas F1 Team will be back in action for the Spanish Grand Prix, to be held at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, from August 14 to 16.

Haas F1 Team notes contributed to this story

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