It’s about the basics of a Formula 1 team! Komatsu challenges Haas after mishaps race

Last year, the Haas ate its tires and the drivers often had no chance of scoring points. Things will look completely different in 2024, but in the last two Formula 1 races, the team unnecessarily shot itself in the foot. Team boss Ayao Komatsu cannot accept that, because it was about simple but fundamental things.

Magnussen’s strategy coup botched: Wrong tires during pit stop

“There have now been two races in a row where it was just the basics. That must not happen to us. It is very frustrating,” said the Japanese driver angrily before the Spanish GP. What happened there recently? Let’s start in Canada. Both Haas were the only ones to start on full wets. Kevin Magnussen stormed through the field in the first few laps. But then everything went wrong.

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“It was such a simple mistake. I think we came in at the right time. We had monitored all of Kevin’s sector times. We simply said to ourselves: as soon as we get slower than Ricciardo, we’ll come into the pits,” Komatsu defended the decision to pit on lap 7. But the work in the garage was not as good as that at the pit stop: “It wasn’t a late decision. Unfortunately, the guys just took the wrong tire. They just didn’t check which tires they were taking with them.”

DSQ in Monaco: Sloppiness at Haas drives Komatsu crazy

Intermediates should have been strapped on, but they weren’t there. Even two weeks later, Komatsu can hardly believe it: “You always have to check that, those are the basics. But they didn’t do that. The first one didn’t check it and the others just followed him and didn’t check it either. They all took the wrong tire with them.” The chance to score good points was thrown away: “That led to a stop of 8.5 seconds. We should have actually come out in 9th place.”

“There is nothing wrong with the processes. You just have to follow them and stick to the basic things,” says the team boss. But recently, sloppiness has become more and more prevalent: “It was the same with the rear wings in Monaco [beide Haas wurden im Qualifying disqualifiziert, Anm. d. Red]. When you do the wing legality test, do it across the whole span of the rear wing. When you pick up tires, look to see what they are. I can’t do more than point out these basics. There’s certainly nothing humanly impossible about checking what tires are there.”

Haas team boss Ayao Komatsu in the paddock
Ayao Komatsu was not satisfied with his team, Photo: LAT Images

Komatsu has to admit: Hülkenberg also had the wrong strategy

But despite these hair-raising mistakes in the ‘basics’, others were also made in Canada. Nico Hülkenberg’s strategy actually failed, not the stop. “That was a mistake. On Friday we saw that the track dries out very quickly. You lose 20 seconds during a pit stop. So you only had to be a little slower than on the inters if you wanted to go from full wets to dry tires,” explained the 48-year-old.

The temptation to save a stop and go straight for slicks was too great: “In hindsight, we should have given up after two laps and brought Nico into the pits. We were too ambitious. We should have accepted the progress that Nico made.” And so in the end there were zero points in a race that definitely would have given us some. In Barcelona, ​​Haas now has the chance to do better.

And who will be driving for Haas next year? It cannot be ruled out that there will be a completely new pairing. Nico Hülkenberg is already heading for Audi/Sauber. You can find an overview of the development of the entire driver market here:

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