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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Hulkenberg’s China dash reveals Haas “not fully out” of tyre points

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Haas has made appreciable progress on the difficulty that blighted its F1 marketing campaign final 12 months, which was attributable to a elementary aerodynamic imbalance that meant the VF-23 might get its tyres working effectively for qualifying, however would then chew via them in races.

In making ready its VF-24 2024 challenger in pre-season testing, Haas spent most of its time in Bahrain finishing long-run efforts in a bid to cut back its tyre downside via the design adjustments it had made within the low season.

These appeared to repay, with Hulkenberg scoring within the season’s second spherical and Komatsu having felt “we will race this 12 months within the midfield” from the season-opener earlier than Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen doubled up in Australia.

In final weekend’s opening race in Shanghai, Hulkenberg plummeted from a Thirteenth-place beginning spot to complete final, blaming “a improper activate the set-up” as he rapidly encountered extreme tyre degradation whereas working within the pack.

After Hulkenberg scored a degree with tenth within the following day’s grand prix, Komatsu defined how his driver’s inconsistent weekend highlighted the ‘fine-margins’ problem Haas remains to be going through to keep away from excessive ranges of tyre put on.

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When requested if Haas felt the {old} tyre state of affairs had been absolutely solved or if Hulkenberg’s dash state of affairs had caught it unexpectedly, Komatsu replied: “I would not say it is gone, gone”.

“As an illustration, we anticipated sure issues [in China], we skilled one thing totally different,” he informed Autosport.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-24, Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber C44

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“You may have a look at Nico’s dash – it isn’t solely the tyre downside, however a end result of some mixed components, [but] we killed Nico’s tyre.

“I can’t say nonetheless [that] 100% we’re fully over it. I believe this circuit, with this temperature, after which these compounds uncovered some new areas.

“However as a result of we targeted on that I believe [it’s] one thing we will work on to enhance to cowl.

“[If] we come right here once more, we’ll most likely provide you with barely totally different configurations, which we’ve not acquired at this minute.”

“Should you have a look at Kevin’s [sprint] race – a stable race, completed in P10. However his tempo wasn’t nice.

“The way in which Nico dropped again shouldn’t be one issue – it is a mixture of things. However you’ll be able to see how delicate it’s.

“Should you get into sure situations, eventualities, if you do not have the margin to maintain the tyres in a superb state, that is what can occur.

“So then, studying from that, we have to have a automotive – all the things, set-up configuration, driving – to offer ourselves a bit extra margin in order that if sure conditions occur, the tyres not gonna die [and] we’re not fully out of it.”

Komatsu added that “it is good that we put it proper for this [main] race” by way of returning to a earlier set-up association Haas knew would work for the tyres over longer stints slightly than some “slight variations” it tried that “really made the automotive worse”, as Hulkenberg was referring too.

He concluded: “Nico’s [GP] tempo, it wasn’t superb, however nonetheless, it is fairly good [to score a point].”

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