Haas frustrated to be "playing games with a thermometer"

Adam Cooper

The team has struggled all season to stay in the optimum tyre operating window in races, having often showed promise in qualifying.

But warmer conditions and the nature of the Barcelona track contributed to an improved performance in Spain, where Kevin Magnussen finished seventh and best of the rest, and Romain Grosjean was 10th.

“I think we had a miserable start to the season,” Haas told Motorsport.com. “We qualified really well, so it says that we can do one or two laps quick. But then we lose tyre temperature, and when you lose tyre temperature, the cars sometimes just go away.

“It was warmer today, and we didn’t have that problem, but even with Grosjean on the restart, his tyres were a little bit cooler, but a couple of laps later he was back up to speed. It’s very critical to keep on top of the tyres.

“It seems like it’s just luck if you get the tyre in that right temperature zone. It would be nice if Pirelli could make it so it wasn’t so sensitive to that. We’re playing games with a thermometer, not racing cars.”

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-19, leads Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-19, and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-19, leads Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-19, and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34 Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images