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Steiner pessimistic over Haas' hopes in Mexico

Gunther Steiner, Haas F1 Team Principal.
©WRI2

Haas F1 boss Guenther Steiner isn't sounding very optimistic about his team's prospects this weekend in the Mexican Grand Prix.

They struggled at the venue last year in their maiden season. Steiner felt that the same thing might happen again this season, especially given their poor showing last weekend in the United States.

“Austin was not only downforce, there were a few other factors coming into why we didn't perform,” Steiner explained this week.

“Here, everything you've got, you need," he said. "And I don't think we've got enough.

“It is a tough race," he added. "Being at high altitude the cooling is difficult. The downforce isn't there. For our car, for sure, it's one of the worst scenarios, if not the worst.

“Our prediction is we'll struggle," he admitted. "But even if we know we will struggle, we still need to work hard because other people will struggle as well.

Kevin Magnussen endorsed Steiner's comments on the problems presented by the altitude this weekend.

“It has a big effect on all those things," said the Dane. "It’s one of the tricky races that you have to compromise a lot of things in order to cool the car and find downforce.

"As the air is thin, you lose downforce. It’s pretty tricky. You can see the effect it has on top speeds. Because the air is so thin, you don’t have a lot of drag from the air down the straight. Our maximum speeds go very high."

"“We will have more grip and we’ll have more downforce, but it’ll still be a low-grip race.”

But at least Magnussen was confident the altitude didn't present any significant physical issues for the drivers.

"You can feel that the air is thinner, that you have to breathe a bit more, but you get used to it.”

Despite feeling that the conditions wouldn't favour Haas, Steiner pledged that the team would still work hard to get the best that it could out of the weekend

The team tried a number of upgrades last weekend, but Steiner said that they hadn't had the opportunity to properly evaluate them.

“It delivered something. But with all the troubles we had, we need to evaluate it a little bit more here and what it is actually doing."

Haas will be using test and development driver Antonio Giovinazzi in FP1 alongside Magnussen. Romain Grosjean will be back in action later in the day and for the rest of the weekend.

“We'll try to do something in FP1 to compare data," said Steiner. "Antonio will have the old one, Kevin will have the new one.”

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