Mick Schumacher will join Kevin Magnussen in running the updated Haas at the Belgian Grand Prix after the team saw encouraging data from the new parts.
Haas introduced its first major upgrade in Hungary before the summer break, with Magnussen the only driver to run it at the time.
Although the Dane finished behind Schumacher, he was 0.4s quicker in qualifying and Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the most pleasing aspects came with the update delivering the expected performance.
“We could see that the on-car numbers were correlating to the wind tunnel numbers, which is always a good sign, and now we have to get the best out of it in lap time,” Steiner said. “Before the shutdown, the team looked at the data closely and will do more now they’re back from the break but at the moment it looks good and hopefully we can better our lap time.
“Yes, both cars will have the upgrade package. We had one kit ready before the shutdown so we said we’ll put it on one car to collect some data so when we’re back, we have that data and now we can already work on the set-up, getting out in Spa straightaway.”
While Schumacher will also get to run the new parts there has been some speculation regarding his future as Haas will run fellow Ferrari driver Antonio Giovinazzi in two FP1s this year that don’t count towards the team’s rookie allocation. However, Steiner says that’s just a request from the Italian team to provide some experience of 2022 machinery to its reserve driver.
“Antonio is the reserve driver of Ferrari and they asked us if he could be in the car just to refresh him. When he gets in the car, he will have finished his Formula E season so there are no distractions for him anymore and I think he will attend all the races for Ferrari as reserve driver.
“Knowing our relationship with Ferrari, we’re more than happy to do this. They’re a big help in what we are doing, and I think it’s a good opportunity for Antonio to put him back in the spotlight, going out in FP1.
“He’s been out of Formula 1 for a year now, running in Formula E, so let’s see what he can do in FP1 so at least he can get accustomed again to the latest specification Formula 1 car.”