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Haas’s loss of qualifying pace “very frustrating”

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner admits it has been “very frustrating” to see the team’s qualifying performance dip for reasons out of their control, having addressed the race pace problems they had last year.

The team’s car often slipped down the order on race days in 2019 as they struggled to keep their tyres in the correct operating window. Steiner believes they have solved that problem this year, only to find their one-lap performance has suffered as a result of changes made to its Ferrari power unit in response to new rules introduced for 2020.

Steiner said the team is “a little bit off” its pre-season expectations “because we expect to go faster in qualifying, to be honest.”

“That was our expectation after the Barcelona test,” he said. “So I’m not completely happy with how I expected it to be.”

Following the problems the team encountered last year, Steiner admitted the current situation is “very frustrating”.

“Maybe next year we’ll get a car together which has got the qualifying from last year and the race performance from this year,” he said.

“At some stage we will get it right, I hope. It is frustrating. In the race we are not super competitive but qualifying would put us in a not bad spot because the tyre seems to be working, the drivers manage them pretty good so they are happy about that. We can find the balance.

“It will be difficult this year with what we are given.”

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