Steiner reveals Haas car weakness

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner claims this year's car is struggling with a rear-end issue

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner claims this year’s car has a weakness with the rear end

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed the weakness of this year’s car┬áthat is plagued by a combination of factors.

The opening race of the season in Bahrain particularly highlighted the problem with the VF-23 as it tore through the rear tyres on what is regarded as a particularly abrasive track compared to other circuits.

On the more ‘gentler’ surface in Saudi Arabia, Kevin Magnussen managed to secure a precious point by finishing 10th.

In the following race in Australia, Nico Hulkenberg took advantage of the mayhem to finish a creditable seventh. Haas had launched a protest over the race result which was later dismissed by the stewards.

Steiner is aware, however, the team’s car has certain limitations it is attempting to address.

“Where we struggle is in places like Bahrain where you need the rear tyre a lot, where the roughness of the Tarmac is high and where you have a lot of energy in the rear tyres because of the long corners,” assessed Steiner.

“The rear end is our problem, so we need to obviously work on it to make it better and I don’t know when we will achieve that.

“But I think that’s our weakness.”

As to whether the specific problem is mechanical or more related to aerodynamics, Steiner added: “I think it’s a combination, like everything.

“It’s a fine line the way the rear dynamics work, and then it depends on the ride height and how the rear suspension works.

“That’s why I’m saying it’s a combination.”

Haas seeking ‘bang for its buck’ with upgrades

Haas will almost certainly have worked on the issue over the current spring break.

But given the complexity surrounding the rear of an F1 car, and the time and resources required to address any issues, there is no quick fix.

The team is also looking to bring upgrades as it now has the capacity to do so, in contrast to last year when only one was applied midway through the season.

Steiner is still mindful of the budget cap so will not apply any minor updates, instead preferring to get value for money from new developments.

“We are working on a lot of things and we will bring things along when we know they will give enough of an advantage to be worthwhile to make because the money you can spend on upgrades is limited because of the budget cap,” said Steiner.

“So you need to be careful where you invest your money. If you invest your money in upgrades, which bring you one or two points of downforce, that is not a good investment.

“Obviously, then you have to calculate the cost. You need to see how much bang for your buck you can get with your upgrades.

“It’s just a continuous work in the wind tunnel to make the best out of it.”

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