Kevin Magnussen says he is more than looking forward to the August break after what has been an incredibly intense first half of the season for Haas, with the Pirelli tyre situation, the farcical title sponsor saga, and a spate of collisions between the drivers.
Now, the confused American team is experimenting with its Melbourne-specification, having utterly lost course with recent car development.
“One lap it’s perfect, the next I’m driving a hot dog cart,” Magnussen, in the newer car, told TV3 in Hungary.
“I was struggling to get out of Q1, I got through just about, same thing again in Q2. Then in Q3 I was fifth. The car can go in and out of its window even in one session. It’s very difficult at the moment.
“It worked perfectly for Q1, then for Q2 there was no grip. There was some traffic on my out lap, but that shouldn’t be such a big deal to affect our tire window.
“We’re really just trying to learn and analyze from these sessions, but it’s tough. So, I start 15th tomorrow on a track that’s very difficult to overtake,” lamented Magnussen.
When asked what Haas should do next to try to solve the problem, the Dane added: “I have no idea. There’s a holiday after the race tomorrow, and I need it.”
Team boss Gunther Steiner has called the situation “unbelievable” and added that “the Melbourne car qualifies ninth at the 12th race of the season, after people have spent who knows how many millions on upgrades.”
“At the same time, we have another car that, within ten minutes, is a second slower without touching it. I’ve never heard of such a thing,” a frustrated Steiner added.
Big Question: Engineers out there… what’s up with Kevin’s car?