Make It a Double

Double Points Finish in Monaco Has

Haas F1 Team Seeing Double in Montreal

 

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (June 4, 2017) – In the most recent race of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship, Haas F1 Team placed both its cars in the top-10 with drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finishing eighth and 10th, respectively, in the Monaco Grand Prix.

 

It was the 27th race in Haas F1 Team’s still young history, and it marked the first time the American squad earned a double-points finish, with Grosjean securing four points and Magnussen earning one. The collective tally brought Haas F1 Team up to seventh in the constructors standings, tied with the factory Renault team at 14 points apiece.

 

Not since Alan Jones and Patrick Tambay finished fourth and fifth in the 1986 Austrian Grand Prix at the Österreichring had an American team scored a double-points finish. Ironically, Jones and Tambay did it for Team Haas, which despite the name has no relation to Haas F1 Team. The late Carl Haas owned Team Haas while industrialist Gene Haas owns Haas F1 Team.

 

Haas F1 Team became the first American Formula One team in 30 years when it joined the grid for last year’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Since then, it has steadily notched numerous firsts on its way toward becoming a household name in Formula One.

  • First point-paying finish: sixth by Grosjean in the 2016 Australian Grand Prix
  • First time both cars advanced from Q1 to Q2: 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix
  • First top-five finish: fifth by Grosjean in the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix
  • First appearance in Q3: Esteban Gutiérrez in the 2016 Italian Grand Prix
  • First time both cars advanced from Q2 to Q3: 2016 Japanese Grand Prix
  • First time both cars finished in the points: 2017 Monaco Grand Prix

Now the seventh race of the 2017 season beckons with the Canadian Grand Prix June 11 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. Haas F1 Team, with a slew of firsts already in hand, seeks some seconds that will eventually turn into thirds, fourths, fifths, etc. Specifically, after its first double-points finish in Monaco, Haas F1 Team is eyeing another double in Montreal.

 

In five career Formula One starts at the 4.361-kilometer (2.710-mile), 14-turn semi-street circuit, Grosjean has two top-10 finishes, including a career-best second-place effort earned in 2012, which was his first Canadian Grand Prix. Magnussen also owns a top-10 in Montreal. He finished ninth as a rookie in 2014.

 

With individual point-scoring performances from past Canadian Grands Prix, Grosjean and Magnussen look to double-down on their double-points finish from Monaco. While Monaco and Montreal differ, there is some carryover, namely tight corners, unforgiving walls and the same tire lineup from supplier Pirelli – Yellow soft, Red supersoft and Purple ultrasoft.

 

Montreal is quite a bit quicker than Monaco, making those tight corners even harder to navigate and placing a premium on brake performance. While both tracks have a stop-and-go nature, the speeds achieved on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve stresses the brakes on two fronts – harder usage and less time between corners for the brakes to cool. And one section of particular renown – the Wall of Champions on the track’s final chicane – has made many a world champion feel like a world chump.

 

It’s a challenging layout offset by Montreal’s charm, a juxtaposition highlighted by the wheel-to-wheel racing amid the remnants of Expo 67 and the 1976 Summer Olympics. Where medals were earned by Olympians from around the globe more than 40 years ago, Grosjean and Magnussen will put the pedal to the metal in pursuit of another double-points haul.

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve
Circuit Length: 4.361 km (2.710 miles)

Laps: 70

Race Distance: 305.270 km (189.686 miles)

Broadcast: NBC – 2 p.m. ET (Lights Out)

About Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team debuted in the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2016, becoming the first American Formula One team since 1986. Founded by industrialist Gene Haas, Haas F1 Team is based in the United States on the same Kannapolis, North Carolina, campus as his championship-winning NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing. Haas is the founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America, and he is chairman of Haas F1 Team.

 

Monaco marked Haas F1 Team’s first double points finish in its still young history. You mentioned how this wasn’t some sort of magic, that the team has been working toward this for some time. Can you talk about the progress the team has made since its inception to now regularly having a shot at getting both drivers into the points?

“I think a lot of things come with time. You mature. It’s pretty normal if everybody works hard, and I would say the team has worked really hard. It’s difficult to get two cars in the top-10 in F1, as we all know. Everybody – the team, the drivers – did a fantastic job in Monte Carlo. Saying that we can always get in with two cars – that’s overestimating it, but that’s our aim. If you’re there or, at least, always knocking on the door, it will happen. That’s always my philosophy. We’re a lot more consistent than last year, which makes us hope to have more of this in the future.”

 

When you have a good result, how long are you able to enjoy it before you’re forced to turn your attention to the next race?

“The enjoyment is very short because you always have to think about what is coming next and you always want to do better. We were eighth and 10th in Monte Carlo and next time we want to be better than that. So, you have to immediately start thinking about the next one. You do stop to enjoy it, but it’s not the main thing you’re thinking of. You’re happy, and it gives you confidence for the next task ahead.”

 

Haas F1 Team is now tied with the factory Renault team for seventh in the constructors standings. It seems a bit of a David-versus-Goliath battle when it comes to resources, but does it also showcase the technical collaboration Haas F1 Team has with Ferrari and Dallara?

“Without our partners we wouldn’t be where we are, and we are pretty happy to say that. Against teams that have two or three times the budget and four or five times the people, it is hard to try to beat them. Again though, if you work hard and use your resources cleverly, it can be achieved. Nobody thought two years ago when we started that in year two we’d have two cars in the top-10 in Monte Carlo. I don’t think a lot of people would have believed that. It is doable, but it is hard work and it’s down to the people who work in the team.”

 

You’ve said that one of your main goals this year is consistency, specifically, ending the up-and-down nature of Haas F1 Team’s performance from race-to-race. How impactful would another double-points finish in Montreal be to achieving that goal?

“For sure it would help, but we’re already confident as we’ve been in the points four times in the last six races. In Australia, before we broke the turbocharger, we were seventh. So, the only race where we weren’t in a points position was Russia. From all our races, we’ve always been in a good position, so we’re a lot more stable than last year already. You can’t always get in there all the time –  even the big teams like Force India, which is fourth in the championship, didn’t get into the points in Monte Carlo with either car, and that’s because the midfield is so tight. I think we can achieve it, because if you’re there or about, it will happen.”

 

How hard is it to get both cars in the top-10 when six of those spots should theoretically be reserved for the top-three teams – Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull? You have to fight with six other teams and 12 other drivers for four spots.

“Absolutely, it’s very difficult. There is so little room between hero and zero. If you’re not in the points it looks really bad, but six spots are already taken, typically. We are fighting for four spots. It is very difficult to achieve, but we’ve achieved it four times now this year. You see the points difference between Toro Rosso, which is fifth and us in seventh. They’ve got 29 points and we’ve got 14. They have double the points, but 14 is not insurmountable. You get two good results and you’re there. That shows how competitive it is in the midfield. So for us to be in the points four times out of six races is some measure of success.”

 

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a semi-street circuit. Is there anything you can take from Monaco and apply to Montreal, especially considering Pirelli is bringing the same tire compounds?

“Hopefully, we can apply the tire data we’ve got from Monaco and it works the same or very similarly on the surface in Canada. The rest is down to aero and suspension adjustments. We’ve got some data from last year and I hope we can do well there.”

 

Despite running the softest tire compounds in Pirelli’s lineup for a second straight week, drivers are saying the tires aren’t soft enough. Ideally, what are drivers looking for in a tire? It is more grip, a sidewall that’s not as stiff or a combination of both?

“They’re looking for the window the tire operates in, temperature-wise, to be a little bit wider than it is. We have a very narrow band. Also, the tires should drop off a little bit more, so you can make a difference in strategy. With a tire like this, it’s difficult to do.”

 

How do you find the proper working range of a tire and what do you need to do to stay in that working range?

“To find it, it’s almost trial and error. You go out there and you just find out when you’ve got the grip, then you try to replicate the temperatures. This is now the next problem we’re facing, like in qualifying. A lot of people, if you see in front of the last corner, they’re bunching up because everybody tries to get to the start-finish line with the right temperature. Some slow down so you screw up your temperature completely to get there. It’s a fine line. In the race, as soon as there’s a Virtual Safety Car or the Safety Car comes out, you’re in trouble because you cannot get the heat back into the tires. You saw in Monte Carlo, under the Virtual Safety Car, the only two which had temperature in their tires at the restart were the two guys who had come in for a free pit stop and put new tires on, which had been in the tire warmers. All the other guys struggled to get the temperatures in, and (Marcus) Ericsson crashed into the barrier as he had no temperature. It’s very difficult.”

 

Canada is known as the hardest-braking grand prix of the year. What do you need to make the most of your car’s braking capability, and how do your drivers manage their brakes for the entire, 70-lap race?

“The biggest thing is the confidence of the driver in the brakes. More confidence means more speed. They need to be confident that the brakes always operate the same, at the same point, at the same time. That is the most important thing. The team can monitor the wear with telemetry, so if we get in danger we can actually tell the driver over the radio that they’re having a problem.”

 

We saw some new T-wing designs at Monaco. Does Haas F1 Team plan any upgrades to its T-wing design at upcoming races?

“Not at the upcoming races. Maybe in the future, but we would need to find something in the wind tunnel which would make sense and is worthwhile to introduce. This is the T-wing we’ll be using for the near future.”

 

How much development will Haas F1 Team place on the T-wing and sharkfin considering those designs have been outlawed for the 2018 season?

“I think we’re pretty close to the stage where we move on. Knowing that it’s not here anymore for next year makes the decision quite easy. If you don’t find something easy, if you don’t find downforce easily, you let it be because you’re developing just for a few races. Until you develop it and until you introduce it, you’re over half of the season, so I don’t think it makes a lot of sense unless, of course, you make big gains, which I don’t think are in there anymore because we did extensive testing. I don’t think there will be a lot coming anymore from this T-wing.”

 

 

Monaco marked Haas F1 Team’s first double points finish in its still young history. Guenther Steiner mentioned how this wasn’t some sort of magic, that the team has been working toward this for some time. Can you talk about the progress the team has made since its inception to now regularly having a shot at getting both drivers into the points?

“Last year we started very well, then we struggled a little bit more as we were preparing for 2017. The car is very good. We’ve had a lot of chances to get into the points. We haven’t always had the luck we needed but, eventually, Monaco came. It was not maybe the place we expected to get both cars into the top-10, but we did it, and it shows that the team is now capable of finding the right setup, the right strategy and going for it. It was a big achievement. I think it’s as big as our first Q3 appearance, or our first points, and I’m very happy with that.”

 

When you have a good result, how long are you able to enjoy it before you’re forced to turn your attention to the next race?

“Well, I normally take Monday off. It’s the day I’m either going to enjoy or be in a bad mood, depending on the race. After that I’m already focused on the next race. We have a chat with the engineers, we have a conference call on Thursday, and we’re already working flat out on the next race.”

 

How hard is it to get into the top-10 when six of those spots should theoretically be reserved for the top-three teams – Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull? You have to fight with six other teams and 12 other drivers for four spots.

“It’s pretty hard to get there. There are races where, like in Barcelona, there were a lot of cars crashing out like a Mercedes, a Ferrari, a Williams, which makes it easier, but we didn’t manage to get as high as we wanted. In Monaco, there was nothing happening at the front. It was really difficult to follow the guys. For the smaller teams, as we are in the midfield, it’s pretty tricky as there aren’t many spots to go for.”

 

Despite running the softest tire compounds in Pirelli’s lineup for a second straight week, drivers are saying the tires aren’t soft enough. Ideally, what are you looking for in a tire? It is more grip, a sidewall that’s not as stiff or a combination of both?

“It’s more grip. During the last race I did 40 laps on the ultrasoft, which is really more of a qualifying tire. It should be able to do some amount of laps, but not as much as that. We’re asking to get tires with a better warm-up, be better after the Safety Car and to go faster. We believe that the cars are able to go faster.”

 

Another element of the tires is the working range of each compound, specifically, how you get the tire into the proper working range and then keeping it there. How do you find the proper working range of a tire and what do you need to do to stay in that working range?

“I do believe that not a lot of people are 100 percent sure how to get there. It’s very tricky. It’s something we need to work on with Pirelli. We need to make it easier, as we’re spending so much time getting the tires to work. It’s a bit frustrating not being able to work on car balance. Ideally, we’d like a wider window, and pretty much more in common between the compounds, so when you change compounds it doesn’t just fall off in the performance.”

 

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a semi-street circuit. Is there anything you can take from Monaco and apply to Montreal, especially considering Pirelli is bringing the same tire compounds from Monaco?

“Yes there are a few things we can take, a few setup items we’ve tried. Hopefully, we can make a good package. Canada is, of course, much faster than Monaco. It’s a city circuit, but very different from Monaco. You run less downforce because of the long straights. Mechanically, I think there are a few things we can carry over.”

 

Canada is known as the hardest-braking grand prix of the year. What do you need to feel in the car to make the most of your car’s braking capability, and how do you manage your brakes for the entire, 70-lap race?

“We’ll be working on our brakes. It’s not our number one strength, but we’re getting better. For Canada, you need to know that when you hit the pedal, you’re going to get 100 percent of what you want. You don’t want a different feel from your demand. That’s what we need to work on. For the race, let’s see which cooling we can run. Worst case scenario – we have to do a bit of lift-and-coast to manage them.”

 

Montreal is home to one of your best finishes in Formula One – a second-place effort in 2012. What do you remember about that race and how did you achieve that result?

“That was a great race. I started P7. I had a one-stop strategy while everyone else was on a two-stop strategy. Initially, I thought I would finish fifth or sixth as I was stuck behind the Mercedes of (Nico) Rosberg. I couldn’t overtake. Then, everyone pitted. The ones who didn’t were really struggling with grip, so I could overtake them. I didn’t quite have the pace to chase Lewis (Hamilton) and take the win.”

 

How important was that second-place finish at Montreal in 2012 during that early portion of your Formula One career?

“It was a great race and, obviously, a great result. I always try to do my best. It was a good race. I enjoyed it. It’s always important to strive for the highest finish you can and be as high on the podium as possible.”

 

What is your favorite part of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and why?

“I like the whole circuit. I’ve always loved it and really enjoy racing there. It’s always a great feeling.”

 

Describe a lap around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“After the start-finish line you go into turn one. It’s tricky braking with a lot of front locking. You’re straight into turn two – a very bumpy hairpin. Then it’s the chicane. You use a lot of the curb and have to be careful on exit because of the wall. Then it’s another left and right corner with tricky braking. You come from the right-hand side corner flat out, and then there’s a long throttle application with a lot of g-force. Then you brake for turns eight and nine. Under the bridge, it’s very bumpy. It’s not so easy to get the grip of the car there. Then it’s the hairpin. Very big braking there. You try to carry some minimum speed and not lose too much time. You then need a good throttle application. Then there’s the famous chicane at the end of the lap, where you really want to brake as late as possible and carry as much speed as possible through that tricky part.”

 

 

 

 

Monaco marked Haas F1 Team’s first double points finish in its still young history. Guenther Steiner mentioned how this wasn’t some sort of magic, that the team has been working toward this for some time. Can you talk about the progress the team has made since you joined it for the start of this season?

“Every race it’s visible that we’re growing as a team. We’re getting more and more experience and, most importantly, we’re using that experience. I think it’s showing. We had the team’s first double-points finish this year. That shows the progress the team has made.”

 

When you have a good result, how long are you able to enjoy it before you’re forced to turn your attention to the next race?

“You feel happy, of course, and you’re proud of the team. It’s not a feeling that goes away. Of course, if the next race is disappointing, I’ll feel disappointed. In general, I’m quite proud of the team and I’m really satisfied with our progress. It’s not that every race is going to be fantastic from now on, but it’s a good benchmark to get both cars in the points and show that we can do it.”

 

How hard is it to get into the top-10 when six of those spots should theoretically be reserved for the top-three teams – Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull? You have to fight with six other teams and 12 other drivers for four spots.

“It means you’ve got to beat some guys that are on the big teams, and that’s not an easy thing to do. We can feel proud about that.”

 

Despite running the softest tire compounds in Pirelli’s lineup for a second straight week, drivers are saying the tires aren’t soft enough. Ideally, what are you looking for in a tire? It is more grip, a sidewall that’s not as stiff or a combination of both?

“The grip is there when the tires are working. It’s just that it’s pretty difficult to get them into the right window because they’re quite hard. Monaco was extreme because it’s a very low-speed track and tire energies are very low, which makes it very hard to get the tires working. Canada is going to be a little bit better, but still I think it’s going to be a challenge. It’s the same for everyone, but some people manage better than others, and that’s part of what we have to learn.”

 

Another element of the tires is the working range of each compound, specifically, how you get the tire into the proper working range and then keeping it there. How do you find the proper working range of a tire and what do you need to do to stay in that working range?

“I think that’s a science in itself. It’s a very good question and one we’re working on very hard. Of course, on tracks that are more high speed, with Formula One cars having so much downforce, high-speed tracks are the best for that because you put more load into the tires and more energy. Formula One tires like a lot of load and energy, but you can’t slide the tires because then they wear out. The surface is quite fragile. It’s about trying to get energy into the tires without wearing out the surface.”

 

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a semi-street circuit. Is there anything you can take from Monaco and apply to Montreal, especially considering Pirelli is bringing the same tire compounds from Monaco?

“It’s similar in the way that you need big balls for Canada. It’s a really enjoyable circuit to drive. Always when the walls are close to the track, it makes it a lot more exciting.”

 

Canada is known as the hardest-braking grand prix of the year. What do you need to feel in the car to make the most of your car’s braking capability, and how do you manage your brakes for the entire, 70-lap race?

“It’s going to be pretty tricky. We’ve had difficulties with temperatures and wear on the brakes this year. Canada is definitely going to be another tricky one, but I’m sure we’ll manage.”

 

What is your favorite part of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and why?

“I’d say the last chicane is pretty cool; one – because it’s a bumpy ride and you’ve got to be really precise with the turn in on the corner, and two – you’ve got that famous Wall of Champions on the outside that is always very exciting.”

 

Describe a lap around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“It’s pretty bumpy and you need good braking points.”

 

 

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

  • Total number of race laps: 70
  • Complete race distance: 305.270 kilometers (189.686 miles)
  • Pit lane speed limit: 80 kph (50 mph)
  • This 4.361-kilometer (2.710-mile), 14-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 1978, with last year’s Canadian Grand Prix serving as the venue’s 37th grand prix.
  • Rubens Barrichello holds the race lap record at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (1:13.622), set in 2004 with Scuderia Ferrari.
  • Ralf Schumacher holds the qualifying lap record at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (1:12.275), set in 2004 with Williams.
  • Known for its tricky hairpin corners and long straights, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is also known for its “Wall of Champions”. Located at the end of a very long, high-speed straight, the track’s final chicane (turns 13-14) has ensnared many drivers over the years, most notably in 1999 when three world champions – Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill – all crashed in this spot. “Wall of Champions” was born, with its nearly non-existent runoff area consisting of a small curb and a narrow strip of asphalt.
  • Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one of four Formula One locations with ties to the Olympics, as its backstraight runs adjacent to the Olympic rowing basin used during the 1976 Summer Olympics. The Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya was the site of the start/finish line for the road team time trial cycling event when Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics. Sochi, site of the Russian Grand Prix where teams competed prior to Barcelona, hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. And the Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City, in which the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is located, hosted numerous events during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
  • DYK? Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is located in Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau, named after the Montreal mayor who twice served the city, from 1954 to 1957 and again from 1960 to 1986. Drapeau organized Expo 67, which was Canada’s main celebration during its centennial year. The circuit lies on Notre Dame Island, a man-made island in the St. Lawrence River that was built up for Expo 67. The neighboring Saint Helen’s Island was artificially enlarged to accommodate the fairgrounds and still holds a prominent remnant from Expo 67 – the Biospehere, which can be seen regularly during television coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix.
  • During the course of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, lows will range from 12-13 degrees Celsius (54-56 degrees Fahrenheit) to highs of 16-21 degrees Celsius (61-70 degrees Fahrenheit). Relative humidity ranges from 46 percent (comfortable) to 87 percent (very humid), with a dew point varying from 6 degrees Celsius/43 degrees Fahrenheit (dry) to 17 degrees Celsius/63 degrees Fahrenheit (mildly humid). The dew point is rarely below 0 degrees Celsius/32 degrees Fahrenheit (dry) or above 20 degrees Celsius/69 degrees Fahrenheit (muggy). Typical wind speeds vary from 2-11 kph/1-7 mph (light air to light breeze), rarely exceeding 14 kph/9 mph (gentle breeze).
  • Pirelli is bringing three tire compounds to Montreal:
    • P Zero Yellow soft – less grip, less wear (used for long-race stints)
      • This is one of the most frequently used tires in Pirelli’s range, as it strikes a balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance. It is still geared toward speed rather than long distances, but it remains capable of providing teams with a competitive advantage at the beginning of the race where cars are carrying a full fuel load, and at the end of the race where the fuel load is much lighter and the race effectively becomes a sprint. It is a high working-range compound.
    • P Zero Red supersoft – more grip, medium wear (used for shorter-race stints and for initial portion of qualifying)
      • This is the second softest tire in Pirelli’s range, and it is ideal for tight and twisting circuits, especially in cold weather, when maximum grip is needed. The supersofts warm up rapidly, which has made it a stalwart choice for qualifying. But with increased grip comes increased degradation. It is a low working-range compound.
    • P Zero Purple ultrasoft – highest amount of grip, highest amount of wear (used for qualifying and select race situations)
      • This is the softest tire in Pirelli’s range, with rapid warming and massive performance. It is best used on tight and twisting circuits that put a premium on mechanical grip. However, because it is so soft, it has a limited lifespan. It is a low working-range compound.
  • Two of the three available compounds must be used during the race. Teams are able to decide when they want to run which compound, adding an element of strategy to the race. A driver can also use all three sets of Pirelli tires in the race, if they so desire. (If there are wet track conditions, the Cinturato Blue full wet tire and the Cinturato Green intermediate tire will be made available.)
  • Pirelli provides each driver 13 sets of dry tires for the race weekend. Of those 13 sets, drivers and their teams can choose the specifications of 10 of those sets from the three compounds Pirelli selected. The remaining three sets are defined by Pirelli – two mandatory tire specifications for the race (one set of P Zero Yellow softs and one set of P Zero Red supersofts) and one mandatory specification for Q3 (one set of P Zero Purple ultrasofts). Haas F1 Team’s drivers have selected the following amounts:
    • Grosjean: two sets of P Zero Yellow softs, four sets of P Zero Red supersofts and seven sets of P Zero Purple ultrasofts
    • Magnussen: two sets of P Zero Yellow softs, four sets of P Zero Red supersofts and seven sets of P Zero Purple ultrasofts