Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said “the clock is running” for Ferrari to try and improve its power unit performance by the 2021 season after a major step back in performance this year.
Ferrari has been hit hard by technical directives relating to the power unit, resulting in its engine performance being far less competitive compared to 12 months ago. As a Ferrari customer, Haas has also been hurt by this year’s struggles, and Steiner said he is pushing to know what progress is being made in terms of upgrades that can only be implemented over the winter.
“The clock is running because this year we cannot do anything about the the engine,” Steiner said. “And I don’t know exactly where they are for next year. I know that they are working on it because you can imagine I ask that question every day and every hour.
“I don’t have a definitive answer. And in the end it’s hard to be a spokesperson for something you’re not in control of, because I can just relay messages. They’re working hard on it because they know it needs to be better, and I think the only way to find out will be when we go back out on the track next year.”
Power unit manufacturers are not allowed to introduce upgrades during this season as a result of cost-cutting measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and Steiner says that means he is braced for another difficult weekend in Monza.
“You know how I feel, there is no new power coming, the car will stay the same as well, so it will be deja vu in a week, I guess. I don’t know Mugello too much, but I think it is a little bit less power-sensitive. It won’t be fantastic, but Monza, for sure, will be a big challenge. We know that, we go into it knowingly and we’ll just try to do our best the whole weekend. Just to try and get the best out of it whatever you have got – that’s what you have to do in these positions.”
Despite finishing 15th and 17th in Belgium and struggling in a straight line, Steiner says Haas is not overly frustrated because it knew that there were difficult races on the horizon.
“The last six races, we knew roughly where we were. What we didn’t know exactly is how big it would be, but you guys saw how we were driven by. We experienced that feeling already last year, so we are a little bit used to it.”