Haas are to continue with an experiment of running their cars with different specifications at this weekend’s German Grand Prix.
The team ran the split strategy at the British Grand Prix, in a bid to understand inconsistent performances.
But they will have to repeat it at Hockenheim, after a first-lap collision between Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen led to early retirements.
That caused a lack of data, where the team’s struggles have been biggest.
Grosjean will continue with the car in the aerodynamic configuration which was used at the first race of the season, while team-mate Magnussen will have Haas’ latest upgrades on his car.
It is an unusual step for teams to run their cars with different aerodynamic specifications but Haas have been struggling to make their tyres work in race conditions, leading to a lack of pace.
The team scored a double points finish in May’s Spanish Grand Prix, where Haas introduced their first major aerodynamic upgrade, with Magnussen seventh and Grosjean 10th.
But they have not scored since Grosjean earned one point for 10th place in the subsequent race in Monaco and in that time have slipped from sixth to ninth in the constructors’ championship, ahead only of pointless Williams.
Team boss Gunther Steiner said: “We decided on this exercise to get data and understand better what the difference between the two cars is, good or bad, then we can see where we can make improvements.
“We weren’t sure if the update we introduced in Barcelona was better or not.
“We’re running this again in Hockenheim, which is a different type of track with different temperatures – they’ll be a lot higher – and, as we all know, we couldn’t get a lot of data from the race at Silverstone from either of the cars.”
Steiner said the upgrade Magnussen will debut in Germany was aimed at “making the car, in general, better, more drivable with more downforce, which always helps you go fast.
“We’re trying to make the tires work better for us. That’s the biggest improvement we can make at the moment – getting into the [working temperature] window of the tyre – and that’s got a lot to do with downforce.”
Steiner spoke to the drivers after their clash at Silverstone, the latest in a series between the two men, to make it clear that hitting each other on track and compromising the team’s performance was not acceptable.