Guenther Steiner believes Haas has a secure future and is convinced a new engineering team will result in a much more competitive 2022.
Haas has put all of its resources into the development of its new car for next year’s regulations, effectively writing off any improvements this season as it gives experience to its rookie drivers: Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. Despite appearing to have the slowest car on the grid this year, the Haas team principal told the Australian Grand Prix’s ‘In The Fast Lane’ podcast that he’s sure the work done behind the scenes will lead to a clear improvement next season.
“I think I can say the team is secure,” said Steiner. “We are fine, we have got a long-term commitment from Mr. Haas to Formula 1. Our finances are good, we found ways to cross that bridge, so I’m really happy with that one.
“2022, we’ve been developing since the beginning of February. The guys work all the time to get a good car, but even if we have a good car and the others do a better job I don’t know where we will end up. But I’m convinced that we will be in a good position again.
“I can see the work that is going on – it’s a little bit early because we started in February, now we’re in April, but we’re making good steps forward in the wind tunnel. Why I believe in it is because last year when we were in a crisis a lot of people were furloughed, and we built up the complete engineering team again.
“We’ve got people joining us from Ferrari on secondment – long-term secondment obviously – and that gives me the confidence, because otherwise how can you be confident if you are like last year? No, we did a lot of changes and we already rebuilt the whole team – they are working already. We started to rebuild the team in December and got going again in January, so that’s where my confidence comes from.”
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With an uncompetitive car and two rookies this year, Steiner says he has already seen improvements and wants the team to be motivated by progress and the promise of a brighter future rather than point-scoring results in 2021.
“On our side we have two young drivers and success will maybe not be measured in points but in how much progress these guys are making,” he said. “We’ve got two young guys who want to make it who we know will get ready for next year, so I think we’re making progress. We’ve now done two races and we made big progress. People can see that the guys are getting better and better, so I hope that continues, that we can really see steps forward until race 10 and then we are nearly through half of the season.
“Then to keep morale going we need to show the guys in the team the light at the end of the tunnel with the new car for 2022. The guys know that we did it before, the people that did the car for 2018 didn’t get stupid in a year. We know we are capable of doing it and we just need to believe in ourselves.
“It will be a task to do, it will be OK. There will be some down moments – I mean, me personally on a Sunday night if you’ve finished 15th and 16th you’re not having the greatest Sunday evening, but you just need to keep focused, believe in the team and yourself, and it’s only 10 more months to go anyway!”