Good start for HaasF1: more laps than McLaren

Stefan Baldauf
Good start for HaasF1
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B A HaasF1 was seen after the first 4 days of testing in Barcelona in satisfied faces. The new racing team from the USA has integrated seamlessly into the Formula 1 field. You swim in the premier class shark tank and don't go under like HRT or Caterham did. 'We're pretty happy with the progress we've made. We didn't expect to drive so much,' says team principal Guenther Steiner.

281 laps for Grosjean and Gutierrez

In the first week of testing, Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez collected a total of 281 laps. That corresponds to 1,308.055 kilometers. Compared to Mercedes (3,142 km) these are worlds, but the new racing team cannot compare to the top either. The technology is too unknown for that and the wealth of experience in the team is too little despite the many engineers and mechanics who came from other teams.

Not all cogs are meshing yet. 'As the saying goes: We learn while we work. Our mechanics first have to get to know the car. But they do a great job and are getting better and better', praises the South Tyrolean, who also says: 'Our greatest enemy is us Making mistakes because we're still inexperienced. '

The solidity of the foundation is illustrated by the fact that the newcomer put more laps together in the first week of testing than McLaren (257) and Manor (254). 'I was prepared to have to be patient. But the team was very well prepared,' said Gutierrez, who finished tenth on Thursday in 1: 27.802 minutes.

The tests did not go smoothly . At the beginning, the front wing broke. But the reinforced version lasted for the 3 remaining days. Instead, the VF-16 had problems with the electrical system and overheating brakes. 'We overestimated our cooling. Because the technology is so complex, even small problems cost you 2 hours. But our learning curve is increasing, the mechanics are getting faster and faster.' What the team boss likes: His team finds suitable solutions within a reasonable time frame. Seen in the implementation of the front wing problem.
Esteban Gutierrez managed 89 laps on Thursday.

Haryanto interrupts racing simulation

One hour before the end of the session, Gutierrez triggered the penultimate red phase of the first week at the test final. The electrics played a trick. 'We wanted to do another run with the soft tires. But you can't have everything. The problem only cost us an hour,' says Steiner.

That meant that in the afternoon it would have almost worked for a whole race distance . Gutierrez's racing simulation was only interrupted because Rio Haryanto spun off the track. By this time, the Mexican had covered 50 of the 66 requested courses. At a relatively constant pace.

'The racing simulation gives us a good feeling. We didn't look at the lap times, we just wanted to do many laps at a time and see how the car and the tires behave,' explains Steiner. His driver summarized with satisfaction: 'The tires were better than expected. I was able to push consistently. The Pirellis are much better than two years ago.' At that time Gutierrez was still a regular Sauber driver.

HaasF1 still has many points to work through. 'Our list is quite long. But we have solutions for all points. It is not that we stand in front of one thing and think: Wow, how can we fix it,' said Steiner. 'The biggest construction site is that we produce enough spare parts.' A second chassis was built for the second week of testing.

There are only 3 weeks left to the start of the season in Melbourne. 'It would be pretty ambitious to believe that we would then be at 100 percent,' said Gutierrez. Regular point runs are the goal for 2016. 'It's just a question of when we are able to do this,' says the team boss.


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