Хаас за Бахрейн


Ромен Грожан:
Bahrain is the site of Haas F1 Team’s best finish – your fifth-place result in last year’s race, which was only the second race for Haas F1 Team. Can you talk about the impact of that race and perhaps how it was even more important than the sixth-place finish you earned in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, as it seemed to validate the team and show that Australia wasn’t a fluke? Bahrain last year was pretty special. Of course, coming from Australia where we’d had a bit of luck with the red flag, we had no more expectation going into Bahrain. From the first free practice lap I thought the car’s not too bad. In qualifying we just managed to be P9, which was what we wanted not going into the Q3, which at that time was the top-eight. We knew we had a set of tires for the race. We had a very aggressive strategy. We had our first ever pit stop in the race – it was then a three-stop race. The car felt good. I was overtaking guys. Before I knew it, I had crossed the line P5. It was not down to luck or anything. It was the pure pace of the car. It was a pretty special race. I still remember having a lot of fun driving the car. In five career Formula One races at Bahrain, you’ve had four point-paying finishes, including two podiums (back-to-back third-place finishes in 2012 and 2013). And in scoring those podiums, you came from seventh and 11 th on the grid. In fact, in every race you’ve picked up positions from where you qualified – 23 positions in all. Is there something about Bahrain that plays to your strengths? I love the track in Bahrain. On paper, it doesn’t look like the most exciting one, but driving it is pretty good fun. Big braking – I brake late. I love braking hard and late. It probably explains why my qualifying sessions in 2012 and 2013, I could have done better. The car was pretty good on tires in the race. It’s hard on tires as well, but I was good with that, probably another thing that helped. I love racing in Bahrain. You’ve proven that you can overtake at Bahrain. Where do you overtake and how do you do it? There’s plenty of places where you can overtake. Basically, turn one is DRS, and going up to turn four is another good place. Down to turn eight, on the first few laps of the race, is a quick one. Before turn 11 is a bit more tricky. Even though you’ve got the DRS, it’s a tricky place to overtake. There’s only one corner where you could overtake, but you don’t really want to do it – it’s the last corner, because the guy behind you has the DRS and he’ll just take you back. With all the newness this year, how helpful is it to have the same tire compounds – White medium, Yellow soft and Red supersoft – on these back-to-back race weekends between China and Bahrain? It doesn’t mean a lot that we’ve got the same tires. Conditions are going to be very different. Bahrain is a very aggressive track with a high temperature. China is a very smooth track with low temperature. Shanghai is front limited, Bahrain is rear limited. They’re two very different circuits. If you look at the first four races of the calendar, if we do well out of those four and manage to get a good consistency, we can then be very hopeful for the rest of the year. Drivers are saying that with the wider tires this year the loss of grip is very sudden. The amount a car can naturally slide through a corner is very limited, and when grip goes away, it’s gone. Obviously, it’s a delicate balance. How do you find it? Finding the balance is never easy. It’s about finding the setup that fits you and finding what is the limit of the car. It’s true that now we have more downforce, whenever the car goes sideways we lose all downforce, and the percentage of loss is bigger than it was before. That’s probably why we see cars not possible to recover. Driving to the limit is what we’re here for and what we love. The amount of run-off area at Bahrain is high. Does that allow you to push the limits of your car and its tires more than at some other venues? It’s certainly easier to find braking points in Bahrain than it is in Monaco or Singapore. You know if you miss it, or overshoot your braking point, you’re just going to go straight and have another go on the next lap. Some street circuits it’s straight into the wall. It’s a bit easier to get used to it and find the limit. Are you able to learn more at a venue like Bahrain because you are able to push harder and discover a car’s limits? Not necessarily. I think every venue, you have an interesting understanding of the car. That’s why I’m saying I don’t want to judge anything before the first four races. With the race beginning in the late afternoon and ending at night, how much does the track change as the air and track temperatures cool? The track changes quite a bit during the race, especially in the last stint. Normally, where you fit the harder tires, it’ll probably be the softs this year. It’s just a bit harder to work the tires, but it’s not as bad as Abu Dhabi, for example, where you start really in the day and finish in the dark. What can you do to combat those changing track conditions during the race? You can adapt your aero balance every time you go to the pit stop, and then just use the tools you have in the car. What is your favorite part of the Bahrain International Circuit and why? I like turns 11, 12 and 13, just because there’s a cool flow. If you’ve got a good car, they are the corners where you can enjoy balancing the car. Is there a specific portion of the Bahrain International Circuit that is more challenging than other aspects of the track? If so, why? Turns nine and 10 are pretty tricky. That’s the braking going downhill and there’s a lot of g-forces and front locking, with tricky traction on the exit. That’s the place where you really need to focus. Explain a lap around the Bahrain International Circuit. Bahrain is not a circuit that looks very technical from a paper point of view, but I love driving it every year. It’s a big straight into turn one. Big braking and a tricky exit to turn two, and then you head up the hill approaching turn four. It’s got tricky braking with long lateral g’s and acceleration going into the high-speed section of (turns) five, six and seven. The wind can have a big influence at those corners. Then you have the hairpin down the hill, going up against (turns) nine and 10 where you can easily have some front- locking because there’s a lot of g’s there under braking. Then the back straight takes you to turn 11, an uphill corner, then turn 12 where it can be flat out if you’ve got a really good car. Tricky braking into turn 13 because you’re coming from a high-speed corner. You really want to go early on the power to go down to turn 14, which is the last corner, again big braking before accelerating to cross the start-finish line.
Кевин Магнусен:
Bahrain is the site of Haas F1 Team’s best finish – fifth-place in last year’s race, which was only the second race for Haas F1 Team. You were at Renault last year, so from an outsider’s perspective, what did you think of that performance, especially with it coming after a sixth-place finish in the season opener at Australia? It was really impressive, both the first two races for Haas F1 Team last year. Everyone noticed that in Formula One. You proved last year that you can overtake at Bahrain. Where do you overtake and how do you do it? In the DRS zone is the obvious one. There are few other spots around the track as well where you need to be awake if there’s a chance. With all the newness this year, how helpful is it to have the same tire compounds – White medium, Yellow soft and Red supersoft – on these back-to-back race weekends between China and Bahrain? It doesn’t make a big difference. We’re still learning about the tires, that’s for sure, but it should be fine. Drivers are saying that with the wider tires this year the loss of grip is very sudden. The amount a car can naturally slide through a corner is very limited, and when grip goes away, it’s gone. Obviously, it’s a delicate balance. How do you find it? It’s a little bit more snappy than it was before. You also have a lot more grip, so it’s a bit of give-and-take. It feels a lot better to drive these cars. The amount of run-off area at Bahrain is high. Does that allow you to push the limits of your car and its tires more than at some other venues? Yes it does. I still prefer to have not so much run-off. It means that you are challenged more and the window for error is narrower. Are you able to learn more at a venue like Bahrain because you are able to push harder and discover a car’s limits? No, I wouldn’t say so. It’s a different challenge, but you’re learning every time. With the race beginning in the late afternoon and ending at night, how much does the track change as the air and track temperatures cool? It changes the behavior of the tires, the wear life and so on. It’s something that you need to anticipate before the race. What can you do to combat those changing track conditions during the race? Stuff like setup on the car, tire pressures, front wing – these are all things you adjust accordingly for when the temperatures drop. What is your favorite part of the Bahrain International Circuit and why? I’d say turns 11, 12 and 13 are cool. Explain a lap around the Bahrain International Circuit. It’s a track with some good braking zones, fast chicanes and medium-speed corners. It’s quite fun.
Гюнтер Щайнер:
Bahrain is the site of Haas F1 Team’s best finish – fifth by Grosjean in last year’s race, which was only the second race for Haas F1 Team. Can you talk about the impact of that race and perhaps how it was even more important than the sixth-place finish earned in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, as it seemed to validate the team and show that Australia wasn’t a fluke? Absolutely. Last year, coming away from Australia, a lot of people said it was a strategy call which we got lucky with the red flag. We got lucky, but the car showed some speed, and it was proven in Bahrain where there were no lucky circumstances and we finished fifth. It was good to have this at the beginning of the year. To get there, our people worked day and night, really hard. I don’t know how they did it looking back at it. It was a magnificent moment. With all the newness this year, how helpful is it to have the same tire compounds – White medium, Yellow soft and Red supersoft – on these back-to-back race weekends between China and Bahrain? I wouldn’t say so because while we’ve got the same tires, the circumstances are different. The temperature will be a lot different. China was much colder than Bahrain will be, where the temperature is meant to be near 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). We will learn a lot about the tires. It’s for sure useful, but I wouldn’t say what we learned in China, or what we learned in Melbourne, will specifically give us an advantage in Bahrain. Drivers are saying that with the wider tires this year the loss of grip is very sudden. The amount a car can naturally slide through a corner is very limited, and when grip goes away, it’s gone. Obviously, it’s a delicate balance, and while drivers find this balance based on feel, does the data suggest where this balance lies? We have tire pressure data and surface temperature data, so between the two of them we can predict what the tire does. We never know 100 percent – that is the job of the driver to get the best out of it. We can guide him where he should be, but then to get the last 10 percent, it’s down to the driver. The amount of run-off area at Bahrain is high. Does that allow drivers to push the limits of their car and its tires more than at some other venues? I would say so. If you know you can run off without damaging the car, or hurting yourself, you take the chance and you try it, at least. I think we will see in the free practices people trying how far they can push it. Nothing will happen. They will just run off. In some ways, it’s a good thing. In others, it’s not so good because while you can learn how far you can go, you pay a big price for it if your judgement is wrong. It’s all pros and cons, but that makes it interesting. It’s never the same. Every weekend is different. Are you able to learn more at a venue like Bahrain because you are able to push harder and discover a car’s limits? In theory, you can push harder and find the limit without damaging the car. How much you take advantage of that – it’s really difficult to establish. You can find the limit, but then if you go over the limit, you lose the lap, and that’s never a positive. If you have a new set of tires on and you lose the lap, you don’t know actually what you could have done the rest of the lap. It’s not a clear yes or no. With the race beginning in the late afternoon and ending at night, how much does the track change as the air and track temperatures cool? On every weekend the track normally changes, especially when it gets colder. Later on in the evening because the sun goes down, it changes more. What can you do to combat those changing track conditions during the race? You cannot put much adjustability above what you normally adjust into the car. It’s in the pit stop, with your front wing settings. We’re not allowed to change anything else than that during a race, or before the race, because after qualifying the car is under parc ferme rules. You cannot change anything. The only thing we can do is adjust the front wing to change the aerodynamic balance. Bahrain marks the third race of the season, and with hot and dry weather expected, it will provide a very different environment compared to the season-opener in Australia and last week’s race in China. When will we have a good sample size of races to know where Haas F1 Team stacks up in relation to other Formula One teams? The picture will get clearer by Barcelona, but what comes next are all the updates teams will bring in. How often updates come in and how effective they are will continue to mix things up. We will always chase the midfield this year – who is best and who is last. The updates this year should be significant. We have a very immature car because the development time was not long. We will get a clearer picture, but it won’t be definitive. It sounds like the amount of updates being brought to the racetrack is akin to an arms race. How quickly do you need updates to come, and what determines when an update is ready to be used in a grand prix? Releases are normally decided by the gains you make in the wind tunnel. You don’t react to other people when they bring them. You keep to your schedule because, first you have to develop it, then you have to design the parts, and then you have to manufacture them. We have set our schedule out already until the middle of the year – what and how much we bring. We wouldn’t change it dramatically. You can always make small adjustments, but you cannot change your principle of how you plan to do this. This is the same for all the other teams, except for the three big ones which could bring updates at any time because their capacity is so much bigger in design and manufacturing.


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