Haas will not introduce an upgrade package at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as team principal Guenther Steiner believes there is more performance to be found in the current car.
Barcelona is traditionally the venue for a number of updates as teams are able to easily get new parts to the circuit from their headquarters in Europe, without having to release them as early as they would for a flyaway race. However, Steiner says that due to the team’s inconsistent showing this year, he wants to ensure the current car is being maximized before introducing new parts.
“Normally Spain is the obvious place to bring upgrades and I think quite a few teams are planning them,” Steiner said. “I don’t know how much difference they will make on each car and what they will bring.
“We have decided to wait a little bit longer with upgrades as I still think we have performance in the car without them which we have to get on the track — sometimes we achieve it, sometimes we don’t. We have a good upgrade package coming in about four or five races, so I’m confident about that.”
The fact that the first test took place in Barcelona this year also gives Steiner confidence that Haas will be able to find the right setup for the existing car on a track it has recent experience of.
“Coming to Spain and knowing that we have been there…. I wouldn’t say it’s an advantage compared to the other teams as everybody has been there and knows Spain very well. For us, going there and knowing we’ve run there, and we ran strong and had a good setup, at least we go there confident. When we get there and start on the right foot, we usually put ourselves into a good position for qualifying and the race, so let’s hope it happens this time as well.”
Kevin Magnussen believes the pecking order is likely to change during the season whether teams bring upgrades or not, due to how closely matched so many teams appear to be.
“I think there’s probably a good chance that the competitive order is going to change around a little bit this year,” Magnussen said. “We’ve seen Mercedes out of shape; sometimes Alfa Romeo has been up there almost with podium pace and other times we’ve been up there, so the competition is very tight and I think it’s going to make for an interesting season.
“It’s not fun if you know that you can’t be competitive and this time there is no way to say that you can’t be competitive — everyone has a chance. I think it’s way more interesting and a lot more fun — I’m certainly enjoying my time.”