Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Teams gear up for Italian Grand Prix

KANNAPOLIS, NC (WBTV) – The Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team’s 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season will continue with Round 16, the Italian Grand Prix, at Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

The high-speed headquarters, located in the green parks north of Milan, celebrates its centenary this year. Monza was part of the inaugural season of the World Championship in 1950 and has only been omitted from the calendar once, when it underwent renovation work in 1980. The circuit has evolved over its 100-year existence, but the relics from the past remain, like the iconic Banca, which weaves its way through the forest as a nod to Monza’s history.

The circuit is the fastest on the calendar, with long sections at full speed, interspersed by a sequence of chicanes and medium speed corners. That results in skinny wings and slippery cars, with a low-downforce setup favored, while strong braking and traction stability is also a must for fast lap times. Lewis Hamilton’s effort for pole position in 2020 was achieved with an average lap speed of 264.363km/h, the fastest in Formula 1 history. As a result, the grand prix itself is regularly the shortest in history. the season, with the 2003 event lasting just 1 hour and 14 minutes, the fastest full-distance race in history.

Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher are ready for the magic of Monza. Magnussen has started six grands prix at Monza, including four with the Haas F1 Team, while Schumacher made his Italian Grand Prix debut in 2021. Italian Antonio Giovinazzi will join the team when the Scuderia Ferrari reserve driver tests the Haas VF-22 in FP1 on Friday. – With Schumacher vacating his seat for the session.

Haas F1 Team enters the Italian Grand Prix in seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship with 34 points.

Guenther Steiner – Team Manager:

Looking back at the Dutch Grand Prix, the highlight was Mick Schumacher’s fourth Q3 appearance of the season in qualifying on Saturday. Were you surprised by the pace of the VF-22 in qualifying after a relatively low-key Friday practice and what stood out to you in terms of Mick’s ability to get that peak performance on Saturday?

“We knew that our car at Zandvoort should perform well because the track has high and medium speed corners, a bit like Silverstone and Austria, where we did quite well. I would say that Mick got the best of him, and it was very nice of him to get into Q3. Unfortunately, Kevin didn’t get used to the track to put on a good performance, he was coming but we ran out of time. Overall we know the car is working, we just needed to be a bit lucky and we could have scored points on Sunday, but qualifying wasn’t too bad.

Race day at Zandvoort was less than successful with a pit stop problem for Mick and an early start for Kevin. When the team clashes so early in a race, what is the immediate reaction on the pit-wall to respond to such incidents? Is there always a strong belief to keep pushing and revising strategies, hoping that external factors present an opportunity?

“Absolutely. You never give up on the pit-wall, you always try to make the best of it. We almost managed to do the lap with the safety car and VSC, but we were too far behind. The pit stop was one of those things, the front jack got stuck when the car was up which has never happened in seven years and the only time it’s happened it happened during a race we’re doing about 50 to 100 practice pit stops over a weekend of race and gets stuck on race day. It’s unfortunate but we always keep pushing no matter what and that’s what we’ll keep doing.”

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We head to Italy this weekend for the Italian Grand Prix, the final race of the European Formula 1 season. While the track characteristics are not expected to play to the strengths of the VF-22, what can you get out of it? the race team at Monza? Is it just another useful opportunity to collect more data on VF-22 upgrades?

“We know that Monza will not be a strong point for us. All high-speed, low-downforce racing tracks do not suit our car. This year we are not in a position to fight on these race tracks, but the Italian team is working hard on some solutions for next year and I am sure we will get them so that next year we are in a better place. . We use these races to gain experience and collect data for next year’s development, so we hope to be in a much better place than this year. We always try to do our best, you never know, it might rain there. You always need to be 100 per cent, you never say it will be a bad race. If we know it will be a challenge, we are working harder.”

Italy is home to the Haas F1 Team design office in Maranello. With the department there maturing, what can you tell us about the ongoing work on next season’s car and what lessons are coming from this year’s package that perhaps surprised and helped shape the new design?

“We established the department in Italy at the beginning of last year. We started almost from scratch and what we have produced this year I think is a very good result. With the lessons learned this year, we’re still trying to work even harder on next year’s car and I think we’re in a better place because the group is now more on the same page and they’re looking at what we need to do for this new regulation car for the next year. We have switched to next year’s car design a few months ago, so the team is still learning and working hard to have a good car for 2023.”

Kevin Magnussen – Driver, No. 20:

Round 16 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship takes us to Monza, for the Italian Grand Prix. It’s another track based on high-speed straights, a feature of the circuit that hasn’t always capitalized on the strengths of the VF-22. Knowing that before the weekend begins, how do you adjust your focus and goals?

“We won’t take a different approach into the weekend: Monza is a great race, one of the favourites, certainly in my book. The atmosphere, the track, the history of the place, it is a special feeling to run there. It’s also a super race-friendly track, there’s a lot of slipstream and always a unique way to race at Monza.”

Having raced at Spa, Zandvoort and now coming to the ‘Temple of Speed’, for you as a driver how do those circuits compare knowing their historical importance compared to newer venues?

“I think it’s nice to have a mix of old and new, but I tend to prefer the old ones because they were built differently. Tracks today are built very efficiently, smooth, flat and wide. When you get to a track like Zandvoort, Mugello, Monza or Suzuka you really feel the difference and it tends to be more exciting and exciting. You let your mind think about how it must have been in the past and also the old tracks that we race on now have been updated. It was just different back then and the tracks that still exist from back then still have some of that character in them.”

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It is the last stop of this triple race and the final race in Europe before the F1 paddock moves to special events. What will you do in the two weeks before we prepare for Singapore and how do you prepare for the time zone change?

“I will be training and trying to make the most of the two-week break. There is a lot of travel in these three weeks that we are in now and the training you do in the gym is very limited, so I am going to go back to the gym and spend some time with the family.”

Mick Schumacher – Driver, No. 47:

Round 16 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship takes us to Monza, for the Italian Grand Prix. It’s another track based on high-speed straights, a feature of the circuit that hasn’t always capitalized on the strengths of the VF-22. Knowing that before the weekend begins, how do you adjust your focus and goals?

“It’s going to be a tough weekend, but on the other hand we have those kinds of tracks where maybe our car isn’t working as much as we’d like, but it’s probably a small number of tracks compared to the number. of tracks that adapt to the configuration of our car”.

Having raced at Spa, Zandvoort and now coming to the ‘Temple of Speed’, for you as a driver how do those circuits compare knowing their historical importance compared to newer venues?

“I would say there is a bit more character to these types of tracks compared to the newer tracks which are very flat, long and have wide run-offs. It’s a bit different, but Spa, Zandvoort and Monza used to be new tracks at some point, so it depends a bit on what you’re used to. At the moment, we are very used to seeing those old-school tracks, but I think we are transitioning to a period where we are getting more and more used to having big starting areas.

It is the last stop of this triple race and the final race in Europe before the F1 paddock moves to special events. What will you do in the two weeks before we prepare for Singapore and how do you prepare for the time zone change?

“Of course I will have some days off, but it is still a busy time. Next week I will be visiting the AMB show with Haas Automation in addition to being in the simulator. The following week, Kevin and I will be attending the official opening of the Home Deluxe Arena in Paderborn, Germany, among other dates. Having joined Formula 1 during the times of COVID and there being a lot of restrictions, it’s great to work with partners off the track now too.

“For sure I will go in with the mindset to prepare for Singapore as it is one of the toughest races on the calendar ahead with very high humidity and temperatures. Also, the track is bumpy, which will probably be felt in these new, stiffer Formula 1 cars. We’re moving away from hydraulic suspension and onto mechanical suspension, which has a huge effect on how the ride develops, hence the rebound issues some people have.”

Haas F1 Team contributed to this story.

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