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Haas planning to race with Brembo F1 brakes in Spain

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The Haas Formula 1 team is planning to race with Brembo brakes in next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix after an unsuccessful bid to switch supplier last time out in Russia.

Haas has endured a number of braking issues on its cars since joining the F1 grid at the start of 2016, and evaluated a change to Carbon Industrie brakes for the Russian Grand Prix after a test in Bahrain.

The team used Carbon Industrie parts for Friday practice, only to then make the switch back to Brembo for the remainder of the race weekend.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said that work is still ongoing to try and resolve the braking problems, but the American squad is planning to race with Brembo again in Spain next weekend.

“We started off with CI brakes in Sochi. We weren’t getting enough cooling for them, and if you don’t cool them enough, you overheat the brake itself and the pedal gets long,” Steiner said.

“Also, the wear is very high. We looked into it to see if we could survive a race, but we realized we could not. Therefore, the decision was taken to go back onto the Brembo.

“As it stands now, we will race Brembo in Barcelona.

“To figure out how we can fix the problem will take a bit, but we will get there. It isn’t an easy problem to solve. We will take our time.

“We know what we’ve got after our Bahrain test with CI brakes, and after Sochi in FP1 and FP2. We know what we need to do and what needs to get done, but it will take a little bit of time.”

Despite the ongoing braking problems, Steiner stressed that Haas is working tirelessly to find a solution, but that it will take time to do so.

“Everybody needs to understand that this is a very sophisticated brake system. It is not easy to fix,” Steiner said.

“The obvious question, and rightly people ask, is that it cannot be this difficult to fix a brake. It actually is. It isn’t easy. This is because they’re highly complicated technologies, they’re highly advanced. When you change from one to the other, you encounter issues you’re not aware of until you try it properly.

“Without testing during the season, you need to do it in FP1 and FP2. You always have to wait two weeks to do something. So you can never go and do a proper test and do modifications. You always have to fit it in somehow. It compromises your testing, and that’s why it takes so long.

“It’s not that we’re not working hard. Our people are very competent and can do this, it just takes time.”

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.