'I should have listened a bit more to the drivers' - Steiner

Image by Hone/LAT

'I should have listened a bit more to the drivers' - Steiner

Formula 1

'I should have listened a bit more to the drivers' - Steiner


Haas team principal Guenther Steiner now admits he wishes he had listened to his drivers more this season in order to help the team make progress with its 2019 VF-19.

A strong start to the year gave way to frustration as the team struggled with an upgrade introduced at the start of the European season. Looking back, Steiner concedes that was a crucial point in the team’s year, and he wishes he had paid more attention to the drivers’ feedback at the time.

“One thing I would do differently: After we introduced the upgrade in Barcelona, I (should have) listened a little bit more to the drivers and been a little bit more self-critical,” Steiner said.

Progress in developing the VF-19 has been wildly hit or miss since a major upgrade was introduced in May. Image by Dunbar/LAT

“(But) I would say there is a silver lining. We started to react during the summer break to work on the 2020 car – to try to avoid the mistakes we’ve made this year. We don’t want to repeat them. We’re just moving forward, analyzing and working hard on the 2020 car.”

While next year’s car has been the focus of development work for a number of months, teams are also faced with major changes in the regulations ahead of the 2021 season. Steiner has said Haas must be realistic with its expectations about where it will stack up in the new-look Formula 1 in just over a year’s time.

“As always, the big teams will always have an advantage. They just have more resources and more people to develop the 2021 car to the new regulations, while at the same time developing a 2020 car.

“The budget cap comes in place in 2021. In the first years, I don’t see a big difference in the pecking order. There will still be the big three and then the rest of us. We know that. Hopefully, the gap closes a little bit to the big ones over time.

“For sure, we will try to do our best with whatever we have to produce a good 2021 car.”