Magnussen gets Haas upgrades for Germany, Grosjean keeps Australia spec
Romain Grosjean will retain his Melbourne-spec Haas while Kevin Magnussen receives new aero parts for this weekend’s German Grand Prix, as the team continue to search for answers as to why their upgrades aren’t working.
Grosjean reverted to the Melbourne set-up at the last round at Silverstone while Magnussen continued with Haas’s latest package, enabling the team to compare the two specs.
But Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner was left furious after the team mates collided early in the British race, the double DNF not only costing the team potential points but essential data on the VF-19’s shortcomings. Hence they will now try again at Hockenheim.
“Good information was gleaned from Friday and Saturday’s on-track running [at Silverstone], but the data collection was cut short,” said the team. “As a result, Grosjean will continue with the Melbourne aero spec in Germany. Magnussen, however, will debut the latest upgrade to the Haas VF-19, which was designed to improve downforce and the car’s overall driveability.”
That will allow the team to compare and contrast what they know works with what they believe will work better. And they feel that the Hockenheimring – a track that highlights both straight-line speed and good traction – will provide the “ultimate laboratory” for that comparison.
“We’re just making the car, in general, better, more drivable with more downforce, which always helps you go fast,” added Steiner. “We’re trying to make the tyres work better for us. That’s the biggest improvement we can make at the moment – getting into the window of the tyre – and that’s got a lot to do with downforce.
“We’re putting a lot of effort into improving the situation we’re in. We need to get the understanding of where we are and where we didn’t work in the right direction. That’s the thing we have to do.”
Grosjean had been struggling with Haas’s latest package ever since the upgrade brought in for the Spanish Grand Prix, hence his decision to revert his VF-19 car back to its Australian Grand Prix specification.
“For me, the feeling was not so good from the rear end, especially through medium- and high-speed corners,” he commented. “The feeling hasn’t been good in those corners since then. Going back to the Melbourne package, the car felt a lot better in those regions.
“It shows that something was not working as expected. Now the aero guys are looking into it, but we know it’s been our weakness. Obviously, that launch package has some limitations also. It has less downforce, but it has better stability.”
Grosjean and the team will be hoping for some answers asap: Haas were sixth in the constructors’ standings after May’s Monaco Grand Prix, the last race at which either driver scored. Now they’re down to ninth.