Haas have revealed a new livery for the Monaco Grand Prix that will be used for the rest of the season. The team have replaced the red trim of the car with grey. The American team are eager to regain momentum around Monaco, which promises to be be even more dramatic that usual, given that these new, faster beasts are bigger.
Nelson Piquet once said that driving around Monaco in a Formula 1 car is like “riding around your living room on a bicycle.” If that sentiment resonated with the current drivers last season, then this time, in the much wider 2017 chassis’, driving around Monaco could be more akin to riding a bicycle around a wardrobe.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean is currently 12th in the Standings, and is eager to push on with Haas’ campaign, which has been fairly muted so far. On the biggest challenges faced at Monaco, he said,
“You need to have confidence in your car. But, on the other hand, if your car doesn’t give you any grip, you won’t have any confidence, and you cannot make any difference. It’s just finding that very fine balance in between the car, the driver pushing it, and the fact that yes, once you’re very confident, you can actually make a bit of a difference.
We just need to keep working. Braking is very important. Then the grip of the car, the confidence – mainly in Monaco, it’s the confidence that you’ve got in your car. If you can push it on the entry phase of the corner, that’s great. If you can’t, then it’s a bit more difficult.”
– Romain Grosjean
The target for both Haas drivers is a top ten finish, which is definitely achievable, but their mood coming away from the weekend will also be dictated where the Renaults and the Saubers finish. It’s a close fight for 7th in the Constructors, with Renault edging Haas by five points, and Sauber slowly building momentum with a four point deficit to the American team.
Teams up and down the grid will be using the purple banded ultrasoft tyre, the highest performing compound with the highest level of degradation. Team Principal Guenther Steiner acknowledged that his drivers, who have both decided to take 10 sets of the purple stuff, need to get as much mileage as possible in Practice to determine how the rubber will react to the windy, technical Monaco circuit.
“We’re pretty happy to have the soft range of tires in Monaco. We need to find out about the ultrasoft – how well we can use them in Monte Carlo. With the big tire, and Monaco being Monaco, we need the softest tires you can get. We don’t know yet how long they will last – if they’re just short-stint tires or if we can do more. Sometimes this year we’ve been surprised by how long the softest tires lasted. The biggest example was in Barcelona. The soft tire was a very good tire and it lasted very long. I don’t know exactly what the tire will do in Monaco, but in the moment, we are happy to have these soft tires available. We chose a lot of them. If we get the pick wrong, we’re in trouble, but so will other people, so we’ll all be in trouble together. I think the cars will be pretty fast with these tires.”
– Guenther Steiner
Both current Haas drivers secured their best results in Monaco in 2014, with Grosjean finishing 8th in a Lotus-Renault and Magnussen securing 10th for McLaren. These are the sort of finishes that Haas would like their drivers to emulate, but there must be a hidden ambition to do something greater. Teams in the bottom half of the standings have to look at this Grand Prix and imagine that something a bit more special could happen.