Haas’s team principal warns we are yet to see the full potential of their VF-16s despite their difficult weekend at the previous round in Singapore.
Guenther Steiner explains the team has put that experience behind and is now focus on the next opportunity that comes with this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
“We analyze what we’ve done and find out what went wrong and try to put measures in place so it doesn’t happen again. On the morale side, I think the guys were a little bit down after Singapore, but I think if you are a real racer you always try hard again and never give up. I think everyone is up for it and rule No. 1 for Malaysia is to make up for what we didn’t do in Singapore.
“On the technical side, I’ve got very good people and that allows me to focus on other aspects of the team. I have to drive the team’s focus, so I try to motivate them again and make them hungrier because we haven’t shown what we are fully able to do.”
Steiner is confident that the technical problem that affected the brake-by-wire system on Romain Grosjean car won’t repeat as the team found a solution to avoid it.
“It was strange because in the first corner it worked, but all of the sudden it went away. When Romain came back in, all of the electronics personnel tried to reset all of the software settings and it didn’t work.
“The guys then took the bodywork off to see if there was any connector that wasn’t connected outside of the gearbox, and there wasn’t. So at that stage everyone was quite sure it was the brake-by-wire system, which is inside the gearbox. It takes one-and-a-half hours to take the gearbox off and, at that point, the race would be over.
“Sunday night after the race in Singapore, we took the gearbox off and it was as simple as reconnecting it. We’ll manufacture a device in Europe to be sent via air freight to Malaysia to ensure the connector doesn’t fall off again. It will be fitted on the car before we get on track in Malaysia.”
The American team had high expectations heading into the Singapore GP due to the significant updates brought to its cars. Despite all the adversity they faced there, the car continued to show speed as Esteban Gutierrez logged another 11th-place finish, just one spot out of the points.
“We didn’t run the new front wing because the drivers weren’t sure how to set the car up with the new wing. We need to re-test it in Malaysia. It’s very difficult to test something in Singapore due to the walls. The readings of the data are sometimes different because you get different aero data when you’re running between two walls. The brakes ducts all worked. They will be on for the rest of the year with no problem.
“If we can get back to a normal weekend routine and get through the program, we can get the data we need. If not, we can’t do it properly. In Singapore, Romain stopped after FP1 and Esteban’s focus was more on the tires and not the front wing, so we didn’t have the data. In Malaysia, if we run a normal routine, we can test the wings back to back and get the data. In Singapore, we didn’t have that luxury because we had to send Esteban out to get data on the tires.”