Haas F1 team already looking toward next season
Qualifies for Mexican GP near the back of the field
The Haas F1 team had to endure yet another qualifying session to forget in Mexico Saturday, qualifying ahead of only the two Williams cars, with Kevin Magnussen starting 17th and Romain Grosjean 18th as they slip further back from the rest of the field.
With the long straights that characterize the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, it could be thought that having the Ferrari power unit bolted into your car would give an advantage, but Haas has been unable to maximize this potential with a poor chassis that causes their tires to drop off the cliff sooner than anyone else.
Tire degradation levels have been extremely high throughout the weekend in Mexico, due in no small part to the rain that fell on Thursday and Friday nights, and Haas has been hit hard by the “green” track.
“(It was) interesting, and not in a good way,” said Grosjean. “I was quite positive before the session and from the moment I started my first timed lap, the throttle application out of the final corner, I thought, ‘No, this is not good.’ Turn one showed me it was not good.
“We had to remove so much aero balance. We have to push brake balance, the differential, engine braking forward, just to make a lap. I think we are all bemused by what happened between FP3 and qualifying because there is no explanation at the minute.”
Magnussen, too, confessed that he knew that the weekend in Mexico would be a difficult one.
“It’s kind of disappointing but I guess we knew we had it coming,” said Magnussen. “It’s not like we’re surprised to be (qualifying) here. We know what the problem is with the car and it’s not a surprise, as I said.
“We’ve shifted the focus on to next year and we’re all excited about that. It’s frustrating and all that when you’re in it right now, but in the long term you’ve just got to look forward and focus on the future.”
Magnussen conceded that Haas has all but given up on the 2019 season, saying, “We are working very hard on next year’s stuff and everything we do with this year’s car is focused on next year.
“I’ve got nothing but belief in this team and we all are looking forward to coming back strong next year to kick some butt.”