Haas team principal Guenther Steiner insists the problems the team faced on the final day of the first test were not significant given the strong start it has had to the pre-season.
Romain Grosjean spent an extended spell in the garage during the morning session before Kevin Magnussen crashed on his fourth lap due to a puncture, ending Haas’ running early. However, Steiner says both issues were relatively small and the fact the team didn’t run again on Friday was due to how productive the previous two days had been.
“We had a water pipe that was leaking and then in the afternoon we had a problem with the wheel rim, with the spacer, that broke the rim and then we had a flat tire,” Steiner said. “Obviously to fix the car took too long to do a few laps at the end, so we decided to call it day. But we could afford to do that because the rest of the week was going well.
“The first two days were very good. For sure you always want to drive more and for sure we miss the hours at the end, but I won’t be standing here and crying about the three hours of testing we missed. All in all we had a good week. We have a lot of data crunching going on over the next few days and then come here again and try some more stuff and try to get even quicker.”
Describing the space issue as “a pretty simple failure,” Steiner is not concerned by Haas’ quickest lap being some 2.6s off Mercedes and over a second slower than those posted by Alfa Romeo, Renault and Racing Point. He says his optimism comes as a result of how the team has progressed through its schedule, rather than from looking at lap times and mileage compared to its rivals.
“I don’t know about (times) because I don’t know what the other ones are doing. We went through our test program, we decided to do what we wanted to do and not to look at others because there is no pole position or points up for grabs in testing. We just went through our test programs and are pretty happy with what we achieved.
“Absolutely, we have a better understanding (of the car). We worked well with what we understand to make it better and then will see compared to the others how good it is. I wouldn’t commit here to say it because I don’t know, as everyone runs different programs.”