Mick Schumacher says Haas "have an idea why" their car was down on performance during the Australian Grand Prix weekend. The newly-rejuvenated F1 team started the season fighting for healthy points in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Kevin Magnussen placed P5 at the season's opening race, before battling hard and beating Lewis Hamilton to P9 at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. But, upon arrival in Melbourne, Haas found themselves fighting nearer the back of the grid, with their drivers unable to show the pace deserving of entry into the midfield battle.
Haas had slow start to Australian GP weekend
"We have an idea of why," Schumacher told media, including RacingNews365.com , as he reflected on a weekend that saw both drivers encounter issues during early practice sessions. Friday's running started on a concerning note when Magnussen reported that he was feeling unwell. Despite completing 18 laps during Free Practice 1, he was unable to find a time to lift himself above 18th place. Meanwhile, Schumacher was left waiting on suspension problems to be repaired throughout much of Friday, leaving him last on the FP1 timesheets with a lap time over a second slower than his teammate. With the car having arrived in Australia seemingly down on performance, these setbacks proved costly in Haas' quest to understand the root of the issue.
Friday setbacks left it too late to iron out creases
Haas were left playing catch-up for the remainder of the weekend, with the team still making tweaks to their car heading into qualifying. But, following Sunday's race, the squad now believe they have a better understanding of where their pace has gone and how to fix it. "I think because of the Friday, we just started the weekend a little bit behind and then, reaching qualifying, we still had to make some changes. By then it was just too late," Schumacher has explained. "I think we have a better overview of what is happening, a better understanding, and now we just need to put it all in place."
Haas hopeful they'll be better in Imola
Schumacher is hopeful that Haas will be back to fighting in the midfield at the forthcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with the F1 Sprint format set to return. The American outfit are confident in their race pace at high-speed circuits, and will have more time to make progress through the field in race conditions thanks to the event being a Sprint weekend. "I'm sure that we'll be, hopefully, back in the position where we were supposed to be," Schumacher continued. "There were a lot of things that we learned, a lot of positives, and things we need to improve."