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Steiner: Magnussen more capable of driving around Haas F1 brake problems

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Haas Formula 1 chief Guenther Steiner says that Kevin Magnussen is more capable of driving around its ongoing braking problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, allowing him to charge to the team’s best result of the year in Baku nine days ago.

Brakes have been a problem for the Haas team ever since its debut in F1 at the start of 2016, with a change of supplier earlier this year failing to remedy the problem.

Grosjean has been particularly vocal about the problems, with his radio transmissions regularly appearing on TV broadcasts, while Magnussen has been more reserved about the issues.

Previewing this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Haas team boss Steiner put his driver’s varying results in Baku down to their different experiences with the braking issue, with Grosjean coming off worse.

“It’s not that Kevin didn’t have the problems with the brakes. With his driving style – for him it’s easier to drive around it, or make it less evident,” Steiner said.

“He was not happy with the brakes in FP2. For the race, he had to lift and coast, as well, because we had some issues.

“With Romain’s driving style, the brakes need to be perfect, or as close to perfect as can be. At the moment, we are not there.

“The cars as a setup – suspension-wise and aero-wise – are pretty similar all the time. But their driving styles – how they go into a corner – that’s a little bit different.

“In the end the cars are not far apart. The drivers work with their race engineer, but the cars, in principle, are very similar.”

Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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