2019 has been a hellish season so far for American team Haas, with just 16 points secured across the first 10 races… Monaco its last score.
Ninth in the constructors’ standings an embarrassing situation for a team so closely linked with Scuderia Ferrari, one that buys in everything to the maximum extent allowed under the technical regulations.
It’s also the squad’s worst-ever mid-season result, Haas netting 51 points after 10 rounds last year. 29 in 2017, and 28 in its debut season with just one driver, Romain Grosjean, doing all the scoring.
The nightmare continuing off-track, with title sponsor Rich Energy going through internal turmoil, creating more unnecessary upheaval.
The squad’s obvious major weakness, tyres, with neither Grosjean nor Kevin Magnussen able to retain performance over a race distance.
But, team principal Guenther Steiner says it’s not the first time he’s seen tyres force a crevasse between qualifying and race pace.
“More than once I’ve encountered this problem,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s normal, but it’s part of the job.”
And it’s incredibly frustrating for the drivers, both of whom are fighting for contract extensions into 2020.
“As a driver, it’s tough, as I’m not an engineer,” Magnussen said. “We have a good understanding, but there’s not too much we can do other than be supportive and give constructive feedback.”
It’s a difficult time for everyone at Haas, with founder Gene Haas under no illusions as to what the team’s goal is - as explained in 2015, when talking about what first led him to hire Grosjean.
SOUNDBITE (English) GENE HAAS
"One thing that was impressive was the fact that he scored points almost every season and that's really what our primary goal here is to be able to score points.”
And with design underway for 2020’s car, there’s no doubt Haas will want to solve its issues before they’re replicated and the vicious cycle continues.
So it’s all hands on deck at American team Haas.