Haas play down lack of pace as puncture ends first F1 test early

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Haas team boss Guenther Steiner remains optimistic about their prospects despite a difficult final day of the first Formula 1 test.

The American outfit completed just 52 laps on Friday, leaving them at the bottom of the list across the 10 teams over the three days albeit with a still respectable 316 laps.

And for the second straight day, running was curtailed by their driver finding the barrier as Kevin Magnussen spun off exiting Turn 8 just four laps into his afternoon programme.

“We had a problem with the wheel rim, with the spacer, that broke the rim and then we had a flat tyre,” Steiner explained via Crash.net.

"The spacer between the wheel and the hub was broken and the wheel ended up in bits and pieces and the air got out and the tyre went off and he went off. It’s a pretty simple failure, no issue.

"Obviously to fix the car took too long to do a few laps at the end so we decided to call it a day and pack in, but we could afford to do that because the rest of the week was going well.

"For sure you always want to drive more and for sure we miss the hours at the end," he admitted," but I won’t be standing here and crying about the three hours of testing we missed because, all in all, we had a good week.

“We have a lot of data crunching going on over the next few days and then come here again and try some more stuff and try to get even quicker.”

The stats say that Haas not only did the least number of laps of any team, but were also slowest of the 10 teams with their quickest time 1.3s slower than their overall best from testing in 2019.

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But with their focus being on ensuring this year's car doesn't repeat the issues faced last year, in terms of the correlation of wind tunnel data versus the track, Steiner believes they have achieved that goal.

“Absolutely we have a better understanding,” he said. “We worked good with what we understand to make it better and then will see compared to the other ones how good it is.

“I wouldn’t commit here to say it because I don’t know as everyone runs different programmes.”

But the Italian also doesn't think the slow times represent where Haas are.

 “No. I don’t know about that because I don’t know what the other ones are doing," he added.

“We went through our test programme, we decided to do what we wanted to do and not to look at other ones because there is no pole position or points up for grabs in testing.

“We just went through our test programmes and are pretty happy with what we achieved.”