Haas midfield Formula 1 rivals surprised by its 'strange' speed

The Haas team's midfield Formula 1 rivals have expressed surprise after the American team got both its cars into Q3 for the first time at the Japanese Grand Prix

Haas midfield Formula 1 rivals surprised by its 'strange' speed

Haas lapped outside the top 10 in every practice session at Suzuka, but was best of the rest behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull in Q2, before Romain Grosjean matched Sergio Perez's time on his way to eighth fastest in Q3.

Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr, who ended up 14th quickest, suggested Haas "came from nowhere", while Perez described the performance as "very strange".

"It seems to me they have a very good car but haven't worked out how to work well with it," Perez told Autosport.

"But whenever you see a Haas competitive they are very competitive. All of a sudden they [can] do a lap - especially with Grosjean.

"But they are generally quick, and Williams the same."

Haas's best qualifying result of the season came at the expense of Williams, with both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa dropping out in Q2.

"The surprise is that Haas were quicker than we were expecting looking at the last races," said Massa.

"Without Haas, we would have had both cars into Q3. We were one tenth slower than Force India in Q2. It's frustrating."

FRONT WING DEVELOPMENT KEY

Haas put its improved form down to a breakthrough with its Singapore upgrade package, specifically getting the front wing to work correctly.

The part was modified overnight and fitted to both cars for final practice.

"We had to make it a bit more stable because one of the flaps was moving," explained team boss Gunther Steiner.

"So we had to stabilise that, and we got that all right.

"We had all these issues, and if you start the weekend in FP1 with mechanical issues you don't have time to evaluate and focus on development of new parts.

"It was the first time we could use them and get the data to really understand them.

"This is one of the main things, and I'm sure our car for this type of track is better suited than for other types of track.

"We knew if we could get a lap together we would be pretty good, but we thought getting two cars into Q3 was a too ambitious thought.

"Everything came together, the stars aligned."

Grosjean felt he would have beaten Perez but for a DRS glitch that cost him "three or four hundredths" on the final straight, while Gutierrez was seventh quickest in Q2 but got held up by Lewis Hamilton on the final part of his Q3 out-lap and lost crucial tyre temperature.

"The biggest change was that new front wing, which is very positive for the future," said Grosjean, who explained that a front suspension problem in Singapore and Malaysia on his car disrupted evaluation of the new aero parts.

"It shows we are going in the right direction with upgrades."

shares
comments
Pirelli could suggest safety case for moving 2017 tests to Bahrain
Previous article

Pirelli could suggest safety case for moving 2017 tests to Bahrain

Next article

Nico Rosberg wins F1 Japanese Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton third

Nico Rosberg wins F1 Japanese Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton third
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022