Haas F1 Team Sets Aggressive Course for Brazilian Grand Prix

Haas F1 Team Sets Aggressive Course for Brazilian Grand Prix

07.11.2016: F1 Brazilian Grand-Prix 2016 Science in São Paulo The penultimate round of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship takes

F1 Brazilian Grand-Prix 2016

Science in São Paulo





 
The penultimate round of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship takes place on Sunday with the Brazilian Grand Prix at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo. The 4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn Interlagos circuit is the setting for one of the shortest laps of the year, but also one of the most intense.
 


The undulating course in Brazil’s largest city is a challenge for drivers and teams. It is run anticlockwise and consists of a twisty infield portion between turns six through 12, with three long straights between turns three and four, between turns five and six, and off turn 14 down the frontstretch before the beginning of the Senna “S” in turn one.
 


Maximum downforce would be preferred through the tight and twisting section, but in order to maximize the straights, cars need to be trimmed out with as little drag as possible. Some downforce is already lost before a wheel is even turned, as São Paulo sits 800 meters (2,625 feet) above sea level.


 
All of this puts grip at a premium on the relatively bumpy track. Pirelli has brought its P Zero Orange hard, White medium and Yellow soft tires to Brazil, with the mediums and especially the softs expected to get the lion’s share of the work.
 


There will be plenty of work on the docket for Haas F1 Team 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.



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.
 


Drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez had a forgettable Mexican Grand Prix, which came on the heels of a difficult United States Grand Prix.



Nonetheless, Grosjean was able to rally from his 17th-place starting spot at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) to finish 10th, delivering a point to the American team on American soil.
 


The resiliency that was on display at COTA could not be recaptured in Mexico City. Technical problems and an overall lack of speed conspired for 19th- and 20th-place finishes by Gutiérrez and Grosjean, respectively.
 


As Haas F1 Team prepares for the Brazilian Grand Prix, it finds itself 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.






Autódromo José Carlos Pace Circuit Length: 4.309 km (2.677 miles)
Laps: 71
Race Distance: 305.909 km (190.083 miles)
Broadcast: NBCSN - 10:30 a.m. ET (Pre-Race Show) / 11 a.m. ET (Lights Out)






 
Guenther STEINER, Haas F1 Team Principal


Haas F1 Team’s issues with it brakes are well chronicled. What is the team doing in Brazil in an effort to remedy its brake situation?



“We will conduct a test in either FP1 or FP2 with a different brake manufacturer. 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.”
 



Many teams have run a practice session with the halo cockpit protection device. Will Haas F1 Team run the halo before the season is complete?



“Yes, we are planning to run it with Romain in FP1 in Brazil. We’ll get his feedback and provide it to the FIA. There needs to be more testing done and we’re happy to contribute.



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.”
 



Charles Leclerc makes his fourth FP1 appearance for Haas F1 Team in Brazil. Talk about his development and what he’s brought to Haas F1 Team.



“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. 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.”
 




A different brake package, a trial run with the halo, and Leclerc in for regular driver Esteban Gutiérrez in FP1 – that’s a lot of change for one race weekend. How will you balance it all?


“We will try to do our absolute best. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do so we need to be focused and, hopefully, we don’t have any issues – any mechanical or any electronic issues with the car so we can have a good FP1 to FP3 and be ready for qualifying. What we want to avoid is another bad weekend like in Mexico.”
 




After showing consistent speed throughout the Japanese Grand Prix three races ago, the past two races – the United States Grand Prix and the Mexican Grand Prix – were a struggle for Haas F1 Team. What makes one weekend like Japan so good and other weekends like what you experienced in the United States and Mexico so challenging?



“It’s not one thing. It’s more than one thing. I think Japan was very good for the design of our car. When we have fast tracks with fast corners, we were always more competitive, like we were at Spa and Japan.



On medium- to low-speed tracks we always struggle, and in Mexico we couldn’t get the tires to work. We cannot get rid of the problem completely because it’s too late in the season. We’ve got two more races to go, and we will try to do our best.”
 




Is there anything that can be learned from a challenging race weekend, or is it best to simply turn the page and focus on the race ahead?



“You always learn, and you should learn when things aren’t going well because when everything is going well, it’s easy to learn. Everything is fantastic and you assume it will always be like this. But on bad weekends, you learn a lot. You have to keep your head up and keep everybody motivated so you can get back to the good days.”
 




There are two races remaining in 2016. What do you want to achieve before Haas F1 Team’s debut season is over?



“It would be fantastic to end up with a result in the points. Can we achieve it? I don’t know yet, but for sure it will not be for lack of trying.”
 




Can the way a team finishes this season impact how it starts next season, or is it all moot since we’ll have a drastically different race car in 2017 built under new regulations?



“How you finish a season is how you go into the winter break. If you go up on a high, it’s much easier to go through the winter season. So we try to do our best to end with a high. I don’t think it impacts the team technically. It’s more about morale.



The morale needs to be kept up. If you go out on a high, you believe in yourself. Otherwise, you have to build it up again. You can always overcome, but it is much easier to go out on a high.”
 


Autódromo José Carlos Pace




•    Total number of race laps: 71 


•    Complete race distance: 305.909 kilometers (190.083 miles)



•    Pit lane speed limit: 80 kph (50 mph)



•    The Autódromo José Carlos Pace has hosted Formula One since 1973, first on a 7.960 kilometer (4.946-mile) layout and later on a 7.873-kilometer (4.892-mile) course from 1979 through 1999 before a massive reconfiguration in advance of the 2000 Brazilian Grand Prix shortened the track to its current 4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn layout. Last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix served as the venue’s 33rd grand prix.



•    Juan Pablo Montoya holds the race lap record at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace (1:11.473), set in 2004 with Williams.



•    Rubens Barrichello holds the qualifying lap record at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace (1:09.822), set in 2004 with Scuderia Ferrari in Q1. 




•    The Autódromo José Carlos Pace is the setting for one of the shortest laps of the year, but also one of the most intense. The undulating course is a challenge for drivers and teams.


It’s run anticlockwise and consists of a twisty infield portion between turns six through 12 with three long straights between turns three and four, between turns five and six, and off turn 14 down the frontstretch before the beginning of the Senna “S” in turn one.


Maximum downforce would be preferred through the tight and twisting section, but in order to maximize the straights, cars need to be trimmed out with as little drag as possible. Some downforce is already lost before a wheel is even turned, as the track sits 800 meters (2,625 feet) above sea level.



All of this puts grip at a premium on the relatively bumpy surface. Pirelli has brought its P Zero Orange hard, White medium and Yellow soft tires to Brazil, with the mediums and especially the softs expected to get the lion’s share of the work.




•    DYK? The traditional name of the circuit, Interlagos, comes from the track being built in a region between two large artificial lakes, the Guarapiranga and Billings, which were designed in the early 20th century to supply São Paulo with drinking water and energy power. In 1985, the speedway was renamed the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in honor of Pace, a Brazilian racecar driver who died in a plane crash in 1977. Pace’s first and only Formula One victory came at Interlagos.




•    During the course of the Brazilian Grand Prix, lows will range from 15-17 degrees Celsius (59-62 degrees Fahrenheit) to highs of 21-25 degrees Celsius (70-77 degrees Fahrenheit). Relative humidity ranges from 55 percent (mildly humid) to 98 percent (very humid), with a dew point varying from 14 degrees Celsius/58 degrees Fahrenheit (comfortable) to 19 degrees Celsius/67 degrees Fahrenheit (muggy).


The dew point is rarely below 11 degrees Celsius/51 degrees Fahrenheit (very comfortable) or above 22 degrees Celsius/72 degrees Fahrenheit (very muggy). Typical wind speeds vary from 3-21 kph/2-13 mph (light air to moderate breeze), rarely exceeding 29 kph/18 mph (fresh breeze).






 •    Pirelli is bringing three tire compounds to Brazil:



o    P Zero Orange hard – less grip, less wear (used for long-race stints)




§    This is the toughest tire in Pirelli’s range. It is designed for circuits that put the highest energy loadings through the tires via fast corners and/or abrasive surfaces, and are often characterized by high ambient temperatures.


 This compound takes longer to warm up, but offers maximum durability, which frequently means that it plays a key role in race strategy. It is a high working-range compound.



o    P Zero White medium – more grip, medium wear (used for shorter-race stints and for initial portion of qualifying)





§    This is Pirelli’s most balanced tire, with an ideal compromise between performance and durability. It is extremely versatile, but it often comes into its own on circuits that tend toward high speeds, high temperatures and high-energy loadings. It is a low working-range compound.


o    P Zero Yellow soft – highest amount of grip, highest amount of wear (used for qualifying and select race situations)




§    This is one of the most frequently used tires in Pirelli’s range, as it strikes a balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance. It is still geared toward speed rather than long distances, but it remains capable of providing teams with a competitive advantage at the beginning of the race where cars are carrying a full fuel load and at the end of the race where the fuel load is much lighter and the race effectively becomes a sprint. It is a high working-range compound.



•    Two of the three available compounds must be used during the race. Teams are able to decide when they want to run which compound, adding an element of strategy to the race. A driver can also use all three sets of Pirelli tires in the race, if they so desire.


(If there are wet track conditions, the Cinturato Blue full wet tire and the Cinturato Green intermediate tire will be made available.)





•    Pirelli provides each driver 13 sets of dry tires for the race weekend. Of those 13 sets, drivers and their teams can choose the specifications of 10 of those sets from the three compounds Pirelli selected.


The remaining three sets are defined by Pirelli – two mandatory tire specifications for the race (one set of P Zero Orange hards and one set of P Zero White mediums) and one mandatory specification for Q3 (one set of P Zero Yellow softs). Haas F1 Team’s drivers have selected the following amounts:


o    Grosjean: one set of P Zero Orange hards, five sets of P White mediums and seven sets of P Zero Yellow softs


o    Gutiérrez: two sets of P Zero Orange hards, four sets of P Zero White mediums and seven sets of P Zero Yellow softs






Mike Arning - photos Haas F1

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/haas-f1-team-aggressive-course-brazilian-gp---157502.html

07.11.2016 / MaP

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