George Russell’s 12th-place in the French Grand Prix should give Haas belief and motivation it can score similar results in future, according to team principal Guenther Steiner.
The Williams driver excelled at Paul Ricard, rising to finish just seven second behind Carlos Sainz – and ahead of Charles Leclerc in the other Ferrari – in a race where all 20 cars finished and there were no Safety Car periods. Despite the result moving Williams back above Haas in the constructors’ standings, Steiner believes it’s proof what hard work and strong execution can do for a team at the back of the grid.
“I would say it was a bit of an odd race in the midfield and George did a good job to put himself in a position to finish 12th and overtake us in the championship,” Steiner said. “But if you take the good thing out, who else thought a week or two weeks ago that Williams could finish 12th ahead of a Ferrari and two Alfa Romeos and so on?
“I don’t see any point that we shouldn’t think that we could do that as well. Look at the qualifying performance of Mick (Schumacher) – everybody was surprised. Obviously it did end how it ended, but even on that lap he was going strong, and a lot of people came to me and said, ‘Wow, where did this lap come from?’ Because compared to the other ones it was a good lap.
“So, it gives me also the belief that it can be done if you put a lot of effort in, and George is now in the third year of this situation and he keeps on pushing. That means the determination is worth something. So I respect what they did because it was done under circumstances when not 10 cars retired, everybody got to the finish. But as well it gives me encouragement to tell my guys, ‘Guys, everything is possible.’”
"It just means we have to work harder, I have to work harder and hopefully soon we will be closer to the field again.”@SchumacherMick summarises his race.#HaasF1 #FrenchGP pic.twitter.com/nXWx4Wsw0P
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) June 20, 2021
And Steiner is hoping Austria will suit Haas more than recent tracks, with two races taking place at the Red Bull Ring starting this weekend.
“We were speaking about it but I don’t really know, we’ll just see when we get there. We know our performance but we don’t know how the other people are performing there. There are less corners that may help a little bit but you never know until you get there with where we are at the moment. Hopefully, it helps because there are two races there so you have double the chance!”