Haas’ improved performance has been one of the stories of 2018. In fact, the American squad’s recent form has been so good that they haven’t failed to get both cars out of Q1 since… Mexico 2017. Yes, there’s something about the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez that Haas’ cars do not like, with no Haas driver having ever managed to reach Q2 here in the team's three-season history. And after another disappointing Saturday in Mexico, both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were left mystified as to where their recent performance had disappeared to.
Having failed to set a single top 10 time throughout any of the three practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, Haas chucked everything they could at their cars to try and help the drivers escape Q1, using up three brand new sets of the stickiest hypersoft tyres to try and overcome their pace deficit.
Nothing worked, however, Grosjean ending up in P16 – albeit that the Frenchman was just 0.083s shy of Pierre Gasly’s P15 time – while a more obviously discombobulated Kevin Magnussen, who missed much of FP3 this morning after his intercooler was changed, was a further 0.688s back from his team mate in P18.
“We’re just not making the tyres work,” was Magnussen’s assessment of the team’s performance in Mexico. “Every time you go on track with a new set of tyres, it’s a completely different car. It just changes the balance completely and makes it impossible to do a lap, especially as this morning I didn’t get any running and you’re just on the back foot. Disappointing, of course, but we’ll give it everything tomorrow and take any opportunities that we can.”