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Interview – Ahead of Singapore GP

12 September 2017
The past two grands prix have been at high-speed circuits where teams opt for minimal downforce. Belgium seemed to work out well for you and the team, but that wasn’t the case in Italy. Despite having to qualify in the wet on Saturday, what made these two high-speed tracks provide such different outcomes? I think Monza was more just about the drag and the efficiency of the low downforce. At Spa-Francorchamps, there were a few more corners where we could exploit a bit more of the potential of the car. So yes, we struggled a bit more in Italy. The pace looked good on Friday, but over the grand prix it was a bit more complicated and difficult. Now you head to a street circuit where downforce is much more necessary. Is the Singapore Grand Prix a venue that suits the Haas VF-17 better than the high-speed tracks? I think it will. Every time we run maximum downforce, the car seems to work better. We’ve got a better efficiency between drag and downforce, so that’s good. The key for us in Singapore will be to get into the tire window. If we do so, we’ll be in a good place. But again, that’s not easy to achieve. Singapore is one of only three night races on the Formula One schedule, but it’s also the original night race. Do you like competing at night? I do like the Singapore Grand Prix. I do like competing in the night. It’s pretty good fun. It makes some great footage, and clearly Singapore is one of the most beautiful races you can have by night. It’s pretty awesome. It provides something a bit different on the calendar. I’m very much looking forward to it and seeing what we can do there. Because the Singapore Grand Prix is at night, is there a heightened sense of speed? It’s actually easier at night because the lights never change. The luminosity is always the same. You stick with the same visor, and driving at those speeds in those conditions is absolutely fine. Can you describe the atmosphere generated by a night race? Is there a heightened sense of excitement and anticipation because the Singapore Grand Prix is so visually stimulating? It’s pretty cool. Everyone loves it, especially the VIPs, who then go partying after the race. It’s a special one, for sure. It’s a race everyone waits for. It’s a tricky track, and you’re racing at night downtown when it’s very hot and humid, so there are a lot of factors that make it exciting. Singapore’s layout forces drivers to run close to the track’s walls for the majority of a lap. While the margin for error is always low in Formula One, is it even lower at Marina Bay Street Circuit? Yes. You pretty much have to hold your breath and hope for the best, especially when you’re pushing in qualifying, as you run so close to the walls. How do you handle the bumpy nature

Italy GP debriefing

5 September 2017
We just had that damage on the front wing in the first corner and from there our race was massively compromised. We tried a few things and we learned about the car. I don’t think the pace was that bad.

Interview – Before Italy Grand Prix

30 August 2017
How has the technical partnership with Ferrari been and how has it evolved as Haas F1 Team went from designing a car to building it first racecar to building the current-generation car which featured a drastically different rules package? The relationship with Ferrari is very good. We owe them quite a lot, to be able to be on the grid and performing with a good engine, gearbox, and suspension – all those parts come from Ferrari. That means a lot to us, and clearly going to the Italian Grand Prix we’re going to feel some of that fan support for ourselves, which is great. How crucial has Dallara and Ferrari been in allowing Haas F1 Team to be competitive in not only its first year, but its second year when another new car needed to be built? It’s key to us to have Ferrari and Dallara behind us. Without them it would’ve been very difficult for us to be on the grid the first year and to be competitive, and again this year. We have a lot of Italian in our DNA. Monza is the fastest track Formula One visits. What are your expectations this year with the current-generation car? I think it’ll be pretty good. It may be one of the circuits where we don’t improve the lap time that much compared to the past. It’s going to be fun though, with big straight lines and a lot of low downforce. The Lesmo corner and the Ascari chicane – they’re great fun. A 1:19.525 lap set by Juan Pablo Montoya during practice for the 2004 Italian Grand Prix is widely regarded as the fastest Formula One lap of all time, as his average speed was 262.242 kph (162.950 mph). Will that time be eclipsed this year at Monza and a new benchmark for speed set? It would be nice. We love going fast, so I’m looking forward to see if we can go for it. Where are the overtaking opportunities at Monza? The good thing with Monza is there’s lots of overtaking opportunities. There’s turn one, three, eight and then the Parabolica. It’s more or less every single braking event. Is overtaking at Monza a bit like a drag race where it’s about who can get on the power the fastest and most effectively? I think qualifying’s going to be key to finding the right tow. The race is always fun to play with the tow and having some fun overtaking maneuvers. We’ll see where we are and how well we get the car to work. There aren’t that many corners so it’s very hard to get the tires to work properly, but we’ll be on it. Monza is a track with a lot of history and home to some of Formula One’s most passionate fans. Can you describe the atmosphere there? The atmosphere is crazy in Monza. The Tifosi, the fans – they’re just great. The track is in the middle of a park. It’s like nowhere else.

Interview – Ahead of Belgium Grand Prix

22 August 2017
Belgium is the home of Haas Automation’s European headquarters. You’ve been to many appearances and interacted with many Haas Automation customers. How have they embraced the team and Gene Haas’ endeavor into Formula One? “Every time we do something with Haas Automation it’s been very well organized and we always receive a very warm welcome from all the guests attending. It’s been great to be representing Haas Automation in Formula One. It’s a big name in motorsports and a big name in industry. Whenever we meet their customers, especially when we’re with Gene (Haas), they’re always very happy. It feels like a big family, which is nice to be a part of.” Spa has been called a driver’s track. Why? “It’s just a great track. There are very high-speed corners and there are a lot of turns, different types, some high speed, some low – just a good variety overall. It gives you a good feeling to drive.” Spa has high-speed straights and corners combined with a tight and twisting section, especially between turns eight and 15. How do you set up your car to tackle all the different aspects of the track? Do you have to make sacrifices in one section to gain an edge in other sections? “You always see different approaches at Spa. Either you’re fast in sector one and sector three, which are the high-speed sectors, or you’re fast in sector two, which has more of the corners. Both work pretty well, so it’s a matter of how you want to approach the race.” Can you describe the sensation you feel inside the car when you drive through Eau Rouge and Raidillon? Are you able to take that section flat out? “The first lap you go through flat out, you feel sick, like you’re on a rollercoaster because it goes up and down. You’re thinking, will I make that for the race? But, once you’ve done it once, it’s all ok and you just enjoy the g-forces.” How important is it to enter Eau Rouge in clean air to ensure you have the maximum amount of downforce available? “It’s certainly a corner where you don’t want to have a mistake. Qualifying in clean air is certainly quite good. On the other hand, if you get a big tow, you can have a massive advantage going into turn five. There’s a bit of an argument for both philosophies there.” Your most recent podium was earned in the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix. You started ninth and made it all the way to third, finishing behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. How did you make up so many positions? “We had a good car in Belgium that year. I had qualified fourth, but started ninth due to a gearbox penalty. We had a good strategy and good timing with a safety car, too. I managed to overtake a few cars and get on the podium. Honestly, it was one of those weekends where everything just
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