Haas team principal Guenther Steiner rates the three days of pre-season as the best test the team has ever had, after a much-improved showing compared to 2022.
All ten teams completed more than 300 laps – or an average of 100 laps per day – but Haas amassed 415 to sit fourth in terms of total milage. Steiner was extremely impressed by the overall performance of the field during the only test ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix and ranks it as the mist productive of Haas’ time in Formula 1.
“Preparation wise yes (the best ever) and running wise,” Steiner said. “You have to look out there. I think it’s the best one in Formula 1 ever. We’ve seen, how many red flags? Three? Everybody doing the laps… if you go to the lap count of previous season, first test, this never happened before in my opinion. I’m so amazed about it. Five years ago every two, three hours there was a red flag. Now we’re all doing the laps, just boom, boom, boom.
“I think that going back to the best test we ever had – we had the best test because last year was our worst test because we were down so much. This year we went through our full program, almost everything. We lost a few runs because of the throttle issue we had, but not a lot.
“The guys got a lot of information. This car is an evolution of last year so it’s not a completely new car, you can learn a lot quicker because you know what you will encounter and mechanics take less time to do things, do set-up changes, because last year everything was new.”
12 months ago, Steiner was dealing with the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and dropped Nikita Mazepin and title sponsor Uralkali, but now heads into the season with a new partner in MoneyGram and experienced line-up of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg.
“I almost cry about it! No, we had a little chat a few days ago, and said think about what we had to do last year at this time. It was like, how the hell do we get out of this hole? Because we keep on falling into holes. You think back now… I think how we handled it I still wouldn’t do anything different.”