Rich Energy Haas F1 Team’s Guenther Steiner has asked fans and pundits to give the new F1 2019 aero rules three or four races to pass any judgement.
One of the biggest talking points in the two Barcelona pre-season tests was how the multiple changes in the F1 rules for 2019 has or will impact the racing during the course of the season. Among the changes, the most visible were the front and rear wings.
In addition, the bargeboards were re-positioned as well. The talk from the two tests were certainly mixed with a certain section praising the changes, while the others were not so optimistic still as they wanted to see more in race conditions.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was the first driver to give a positive response to the changes after he tried following couple of cars during his race run, where he felt much better than F1 2018. His team boss Steiner though, doesn’t want to predict anything just yet.
In fact, the Italian wants the fans and pundits as well to give the changes at least three or four races to get a full idea. “The aim of the regulation change was to make passing easier, but the proof is in the pudding,” he said.
“We’ll only really see after three or four races how it works out. Australia, in general, is a very difficult track to pass at – probably one of the most difficult ones. If it doesn’t work there, we shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that it will not work for the whole year.
“We need to see if it works or not, and you only really find these things out in race situations.” His other driver Romain Grosjean also sided with him with the Frenchman yet to try following a car but he reckons there will be more DRS passing.
“I haven’t had the chance to follow another car yet,” he said. “The Australian Grand Prix is always a race where there’s very little overtaking. It’s just the nature of the circuit. It’s such a great grand prix, it almost doesn’t matter.
“Kevin was very enthusiastic when he followed another car, but I haven’t had that chance. The only thing I noticed is when you don’t use the DRS, you feel very slow on the straight compared to when you do use it.
“Therefore, we could see a fair bit of overtaking with DRS. Again, we’ll need to wait and see.” With Magnussen, Racing Point’s Sergio Perez also joined in to praise the changes with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel a bit skeptic on it.
Even F1’s Ross Brawn talked about receiving a mixed review from the two tests with the positive being that there is a huge difference in the aerodynamics but the worst being that it may not have the desired effect wanted in racing.
Meanwhile, talking about the preparation for Haas, who looks very much in the fight for fourth with Renault, Steiner said everything was going well, while stressing on an improved pit stop work being done, so that there is no repeat of 2018 Australian GP issue.
“We obviously haven’t forgotten last year’s pit stops in Australia, which went wrong,” he said. “This year we’ve put a lot of emphasis on arriving there prepared. We brought a 2018 car to our car build in Italy so we could train every day and work on pit stops.
“We did the same in Barcelona, as the current car is not always available for pit stop practice when you test. Every day the whole crew practiced around 10 to 12 pit stops a day,” Steiner summed up.
Check out the how the teams stacked up in the two Barcelona tests