Haas team principal Guenther Steiner admits he is positively surprised by the performance his team showed during Friday practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
While Haas has been competitive at the majority of circuits so far this season, it struggled on the low-speed layout in Monaco and was expecting a trickier time than recent races in Budapest. However, Romain Grosjean was seventh fastest behind the top three teams in FP2 and enjoyed an advantage of 0.43s over Carlos Sainz in eighth.
Asked if he was surprised by such a gap to the rest of the field, Steiner replied: “I am positively surprised on Friday that we have that gap, yes, positively surprised.
“I didn’t expect that to be honest.”
Haas has been boosted by a Ferrari power unit upgrade at the Hungaroring, and Steiner confirmed the new engine will remain in the car for the rest of the weekend. One concern came on Kevin Magnussen’s car as he reported a misfire, but Steiner downplayed the issue.
“He had some misfires and they changed something, they went to a different setting and it went away. I don’t know the exact detail why it was misfiring, it was something to do with the MGU-K. I don’t think it was a misfire of the engine — it was just not giving all of the power all of the time, so they just went to another setting and it seemed to sort itself out.
“No [issues] as far as I know. I think this sometimes can be, we’ve got a new engine with new mapping and all that stuff so it’s easy that these things happen.”
While Haas is now targeting a fourth-row lockout, Steiner is wary of the likes of Renault closing the gap overnight as well as the possibility of wet weather.
“There’s still a day to go, it’s not done yet. People work on their cars, we still need to work, and tomorrow’s a different day. I didn’t look at the weather forecast lately but before it was produced some thunderstorms so hopefully nothings is coming. Still a long way to go to be in row four.”