Haas confident Spain woes didn’t show true picture

Carl Bingham/Motorsport Images

Haas confident Spain woes didn’t show true picture

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes there is still more performance to be unleashed from the team’s 2022 car despite the disappointing result at the Spanish Grand Prix.

All other teams brought some sort of upgrade to Barcelona last weekend, with Haas the only team not to introduce anything as Steiner felt it was not getting everything out of its launch car. That theory proved true in qualifying, but after Kevin Magnussen was involved in first-lap contact, Mick Schumacher faded during the race and Haas left empty-handed.

“It’s very difficult to judge who found pace but the obvious ones were Mercedes and Alfa Romeo,” Steiner said. “With the others, I don’t know how much pace they found and it’s a one-off race with very strange conditions — it was very hot, very unusual for Spain — so we have to wait a few races to find that out.

“We obviously chose not to put upgrades on but we made our car go quicker, at least in qualifying, so I think we’ve found something in the setup. We have still got something in the car which we haven’t unleashed, so let’s work a little more on that, but we made a very good step in Spain.

“We are in the midfield but the midfield this year, it depends on the race. In some races one car is good, and in others, somebody else. I think that is very interesting and it’s how it should be — it mixes up the field.”

Schumacher was up to sixth place on the opening lap in Barcelona but soon started to slip back through the order, and Steiner believes his two-stop strategy could have been the reason he dropped out of the fight for points.

“Obviously we took away some disappointment. We did a few things which weren’t perfect, but we have a lot of work to do. We can’t do anything about Kevin’s Turn 4 incident — you can’t learn a lot there and what we tried was something hoping that the safety car would come out.

“With Mick, we need to see why we ended up with the strategy we chose and what we can do to make it better for the future. I’m not jumping to conclusions, it wasn’t completely wrong as there were a lot of unknowns, especially in his first stint with the new tires where we lost a lot of positions there, so we have to analyze that before coming to a conclusion.”

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