You trialed the latest Ferrari engine in Monaco. How did it perform and what are your expectations for it as you prepare for a more power-sensitive track in Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?
“It was good to try the new engine. It looks like it’s a bit better and a good upgrade. Let’s see how it goes in Montreal with the longer straights.”
The tire compounds you ran in Monaco will be the same for Montreal. Considering these three compounds are the softest available from Pirelli, will they allow you to extract the kind of performance you want out of them, as the team has historically been able to make the C3, C4 and C5 compounds work?
“I think Monaco was a good race weekend for us, although the race didn’t go to plan. We were quick all through the weekend. It’s encouraging to have the same compounds for the next race.”
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team is coming off back-to-back points-paying finishes with its runs at Barcelona and Monaco. After struggling in Bahrain, China and Baku, do you feel you have a handle on what you need to marry the characteristics of the Haas VF-19 with the Pirelli tires to get the best out of both?
“We’re making progress in all areas. I still think we’ve got the fastest car of the midfield. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Qualifying remains Rich Energy Haas F1 Team’s strong suit. Considering how tight the midfield is again this year, is qualifying perhaps even more important than the actual race since it has so much influence in the outcome of the race?
“No. We’ve seen quite a few races this year where we’ve qualified well then didn’t score any points. Race pace is ultimately the points-paying factor. We need to focus on that.”
Only four points separate fifth place from ninth place in the constructors’ standings. Can you provide some insight into the level of competitiveness in the midfield this year through the opening six races of 2019 and how you see it playing out through the summer stretch?
“Well, I don’t want to look at the standings too much at the moment, but we’re going to try hard to make it look a lot better for the end of the season.”