Steiner still confident Haas has midfield-leading pace

Image by Glenn Dunbar/LAT

Steiner still confident Haas has midfield-leading pace

Formula 1

Steiner still confident Haas has midfield-leading pace


Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes his team still has the potential to comfortably lead the midfield battle when it has a clean weekend.

In Australia Haas was clearly the fourth-fastest team but ended up failing to finish the race with both cars, and it wasn’t until Barcelona that Kevin Magnussen’s sixth place saw Haas beat the rest of the midfield. While Steiner feels his team was unfortunate in Canada — where Romain Grosjean lost a nose and track time after hitting a groundhog — he says the motivation to improve comes from the knowledge that the car has the potential to repeat its level of performance from Spain.

“You never stop; you never say, ‘Oh, we need a break’ and you just wait until you get lucky,” Steiner said. “We always try to do our best and come up with the best with what we can do. I think we showed that [in Canada]. On Friday Kevin was struggling and in qualifying he still qualified 11th.

“What happened with Romain, in the end we have not a lot of influence on that one and I am not trying to find excuses for it, it’s one of the circumstances. In FP3, you have an issue like this, what can you do?

“I think we are very honest with ourselves. We are not saying, ‘Oh it was just a bad day, let’s move onto the next one.’ We are doing things to understand properly why the tires worked, why they didn’t work and all that stuff — you go through it properly because everybody is disappointed. What gets you over the disappointment two, three hours later is four weeks ago in Barcelona we were best of the rest by a good margin and we haven’t lost that.

“Is it circumstances? We didn’t do anything wrong but as you say we always try to evaluate this and try to get better for the next event.”

However, when asked if he feels Haas is deserving of better luck, Steiner replied: “I wouldn’t say deserve it, that’s a little bit presumptuous.

“We wish for it because even other teams come to me, ‘Guys what have you done to get it all?’ because for me the weirdest thing is this groundhog or whatever this animal was running into it. There are 20 cars out there and there’s a groundhog on the road and we are going hit it on the nose — we are not hitting it on the wing, we are hitting it on the nose.

“If you tried to do that, you can try for a thousand years and it will never happen. It’s one of these freak things but again, we don’t deserve to, we need to work hard and it will come to us, and then just hope the lady luck comes to you.”

-Chris Medland