Haas team principal Guenther Steiner warns the strong showing in Russia is no guarantee of another good performance at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Romain Grosjean excelled in qualifying to reach Q3, and while the Frenchman was involved in a first lap incident that resulted in his retirement, teammate Kevin Magnussen went on to pick up two points for ninth place. Magnussen originally crossed the line eighth before being demoted due to a time penalty, but despite the good display, Steiner is wary of how the car might perform at Suzuka.
“Even having had a good race in Sochi, it doesn’t mean that this form will carry on,” Steiner said. “For sure, we’ll try to carry it on, but the car is very temperamental, to say the least, and we never know on any given weekend where we’ll end up. You’re always learning when you’re racing. Hopefully, we can carry that form into Suzuka and beyond.
“Points always help. It helps to keep people going. It gives you confidence that you can still do it. Points and good results are always the easiest way to keep morale up in a team.”
Japan marks the start of the final quarter of the 2019 Formula 1 season, and Steiner admitted there have been times that he’d found himself especially worried about upcoming events due to the team’s see-sawing form.
“It’s been up and down this season,” he said. “When you get a good result, you can’t wait to go to the next race, but when you have a few bad results in a row, you fear to go to the next race. Sometimes it goes very quick, and sometimes it goes very slow.
“When you’re having a bad race, those two hours seem like they’re dragging on for days. Overall, this year’s been very challenging for us. It’s gone by in the blink of an eye – we’ve only five races to go. It’s almost unbelievable.”