Haas F1 Team boss Gunther Steiner was upbeat after the new outfit’s first proper day of running in Barcelona, despite a wing failure that cost Romain Grosjean a lot of track time.
In the morning session a mounting failure saw the front wing come adrift from the nose at the end of the pit straight after Grosjean had completed 13 laps. After a long delay he was able to run again, although his total had risen only to 31 laps by the end of the day. A revised wing is being shipped to Spain and will be available for Tuesday
“It broke and we evaluated what was wrong,” said Steiner. “We are still checking, we fixed one up for the afternoon, obviously went out there but we just did short runs to always keep an eye on it. We get a new completely fixed wing flown in for tomorrow at 8 a.m. – a strengthened wing. We don’t know exactly why it broke, but we know where to reinforce it. We have a solution so we can keep on running. It broke on the mounting pillars, we know exactly where it broke, we need to know why it broke.”
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Steiner said that the failure and the need to react to it was a good learning experience for the whole team.
“With the team being new, it’s quite difficult. A simple operation for Ferrari or Mercedes or one of the teams which is here for a long time is maybe new for us and not so easy to do. It’s a situation that we handled pretty professionally. We got the solution, we went out again, did some running, because we’re still gathering data from this car, cooling data, brake data, all that stuff, and we got quite a lot done anyway.”
Prior to the day the car had run only a few laps in filming day sessions at Barcelona in Saturday and Sunday, with the first day curtailed by a systems issue. Aside from the wing, the new car experienced no other major problems on Monday.
“As much as we are unhappy, we are happy, because we got some work done. It would have been nice to have done 70-80 laps instead of 31, but sometimes that is why we are here, to learn about the car and to test.
“We didn’t discover any big issue yet except the front wing, which is quite a big issue, but there’s a solution there. But not like we are overheating, or something like this. In general, we are happy with the package.
“As I said before, it’s quite good for the team to experience this problem, then you see where you are weak with the mechanics, which processes are missing. Everybody’s learning through problems. So when we get them in the race weekend we can be better prepared, and we can take measures now not to have them on a race weekend.”
Meanwhile, Grosjean added: “It was a pretty exciting day. The morning went very well until we had a small front wing failure. It compromised our afternoon a little, but it was good that we could put some laps on the car later. We don’t have any big problems. I’m very happy with the first day. It’s been a really good start for the team. It’s been a positive day. Of course, you always want more and more, but I think the most important thing is that I’m happy with the car. The first impression is really good. The car balance is there straight away.”