How important is it for Rich Energy Haas F1 Team to put a complete race weekend together at Barcelona, where the speed its shown since testing is carried through practice, qualifying and the race so that you achieve your ultimate goal of scoring points?
“The last few weekends have been pretty disappointing. We’re looking forward to, hopefully, a strong result in Barcelona. We know the car is good, as a baseline, but we’re struggling with tires. I trust, and have faith in the team, that we’ll soon sort out these issues. I’m hopeful that in Barcelona we can have a strong weekend.”
How helpful is it to go back to Barcelona where Rich Energy Haas F1 Team has the most data of any track in Formula One simply because you spent two weeks testing there before the season even started?
“We’ve obviously got some data to look at in Barcelona from testing. We saw earlier in the year the car was competitive in testing there. Hopefully, we can convert some of the data into performance on the race weekend.”
Does Barcelona allow teams to reassess where they stand because of what they learned in preseason testing and how it’s translated to the first four races?
“Yes. I think it’s a good chance to compare the car from testing to now. The temperatures are still going to be very different, also the track will have been used by other race series since we tested, so it’ll inevitably be different. That said, I think it will be good to reassess where we stand.”
Barcelona was repaved prior to last year’s preseason test. How has the new surface evolved and what are your expectations for your return to the track in much warmer conditions, specifically in regard to tire management?
“The weakness that we’ve seen this year is our ability to have good performance from the tires in race condition. We struggle a lot less over one lap. It’s in race condition we see the biggest problems. Hopefully, we can work through this issue and see a better performance in Barcelona.”
What are you feeling inside the racecar when you’re unable to get the tires into their proper working range? Is it a combination of an actual lack of grip and also a lack of confidence in what you can expect from the tires?
“It’s mainly the lack of grip once we’re in race conditions.”