Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team ‘tires out’ with disappointing result in Spanish Grand Prix.
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - The Kannapolis-based MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen finished 15th and 18th respectively at the Spanish Grand Prix, Round 8 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, held Sunday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain.
Team Principal Guenther Steiner considered the results to be a disappointment.
“Quite a disappointing result today, we just couldn’t get the tires to stay alive,” Steiner said. “We did one more pit stop than everyone else, but even if we hadn’t stopped, we would’ve gone slower and ended up there anyway. We need to go back to the drawing board and try to find a solution to our tire degradation.”
Both drivers took the start of the race on Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires, Hulkenberg from P7 place after progressing through to Q3 and benefitting from Pierre Gasly’s grid penalty, with Magnussen from P17. Hulkenberg lost one position on the opening lap, and was unable to repel further rivals with DRS from overtaking, while Magnussen gained four spots to hold P13.
“It was a tough day in terms of tire management,” said Magnussen. “At the beginning of every stint, it was quite competitive compared to everyone we were fighting, but our tires just fell off quickly and we had to three-stop which wasn’t optimal. Hopefully we can try and learn about what caused it to improve, but certainly it was a tough race. When you have a bad weekend like this, you tend to find some interesting answers and that’s what I’m hoping for now – onto the next one.”
Hulkenberg came in on lap eight, changing onto Yellow mediums, with Magnussen following suit two laps later. In a race of high tire degradation both drivers went on to execute a three-stop strategy, with the pair taking on White hards for the following stint, Magnussen pitting on lap 24 and Hulkenberg on lap 27. They subsequently switched to mediums for the final stretch, Magnussen boxing on lap 43 and Hulkenberg on lap 44.
“It was tough,” Hulkenberg said. “Unfortunately, the degradation was really high for us and we had to three-stop whereas the competition didn’t. It looks at first glance that over one lap we’re competitive but in the long runs we still have some homework to do and some pace to find.”
In a race in which all 20 starters were classified, Hulkenberg and Magnussen brought the VF-23s home in P15 and P18 respectively to lodge another double finish.
Up front, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen dominated for his fifth victory of the season, ahead of Mercedes AMG drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team maintains seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship on eight points.
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