May 14, 2021

Haas “won’t put effort” into F1 beyond fighting Williams

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The American outfit had revealed ahead of the first race that it wouldn’t develop its VF-21 car following the pre-season test in Bahrain, focusing all its resources on its 2022 challenger instead.

Haas will have some minor updates for the second race of the season at Imola because they weren’t ready in time for testing or the season opener, but will not add any new developments after that.

The team was at the bottom of the timesheets for most of the Bahrain GP, its drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin qualifying last, the German half a second off the closest Williams. In the race, Mazepin crashed right at the start, while Schumacher went on to finish last.

Steiner is staying realistic about Haas’ prospects for the season ahead, and recognises the most it can do is help its drivers get experience ahead of what he hopes is a better 2022.

“I would say if we can take the fight to Williams that’s about it,” said Steiner. “You know, and I am very realistic about that. And we are not putting any effort into doing anything more than that.

“I think the biggest amount we can get out of the car [is] to get our drivers prepared or get them prepared better, just get them experience and that is what we want to do so they are ready when we have a better car and that is just how our plan is for this year.”

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Mazepin’s weekend was thwarted by several spins before his early exit from the race, while Schumacher also spun at the restart but managed to rejoin and secure his first F1 race finish.

Steiner is optimistic both his drivers learned from their mistakes and won’t repeat them.

“I think when you fight they need to learn this fighting,” Steiner added. “I think both of them went on to the throttle too harsh, you know, and they then went on the kerb or something like this.

“And it’s just, you know, these cars are so powerful, and when the torque kicks in, you get a kick and you cannot recoup them anymore. So I think this is down to making the experience. I do not think that they will do that again. They will spin again, but not in the way they did [in Bahrain].

“This was a new experience, in a race, you know, trying to fight with other cars, and sometimes to be a little bit too optimistic.”

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