There will be plenty of work on the docket for Haas F1 Team this coming weekend at the Interlagos Circuit in Brazil.
The American team has set an aggressive schedule for the weekend, well beyond the run programs that are commonplace for each practice session. The team will compare components from a new brake manufacturer, test the halo cockpit protection device, and run current GP3 Series championship point leader Charles Leclerc in FP1.
“Charles has done a good job for the team. He always did his program and he performed what we asked of him. It's always difficult when a driver is only in for FP1, but he's very professional and has provided good feedback. We've been very happy with his contributions,” said team boss Guenther Steiner.
“He's in GP3 at the moment and can win the title in Abu Dhabi. He's got a season of GP2 coming up and we will see how far he can get. If he wins GP2 or is in the top-three in his first year of GP2, he will have a good future in front of him.”
On top of all that, Haas F1 Team looks to break out from the pall of two adversity-filled weekends that consumed valuable time and resources during the United States Grand Prix and Mexican Grand Prix, mainly the brake issues that hampered their progress…
“We will conduct a test in either FP1 or FP2 with a different brake manufacturer,” Steiner explained. “It is a test to see how the other material reacts and how the drivers like it or don't like it. We will try to find out as much as possible in the short time we have available.”
As they prepare for the Brazilian Grand Prix, they find themselves between the frustration of Mexico City and the opportunity available in São Paulo. The silver lining in the team's recent difficulties is that plenty of information was gleaned, both during the weekend and in the analysis that followed.
It is why the first American Formula One team in 30 years has racked up a total of 29 points with still two races remaining in its debut season. When they've hit the right notes, they've capitalized. When they haven't, they've delved into understanding why. It's science at 320 kph (200 mph), with another round of experiments coming this weekend in São Paulo.
One of those experiments is the halo cockpit device, which they plan to run with Romain Grosjean in FP1.
“There needs to be more testing done and we're happy to contribute,' Steiner explained. “Even though the halo won't be introduced next year, it's a step toward finding a device that provides protection but also allows drivers to get in and out of the car quickly.”