Haas’ Guenther Steiner: “As long as we’re showing improvement, I think we’re doing well”


Starting to get difficult for Haas F1 Team to get in the points with a much more compact midfield Credit: Steven Tee/LAT Images

Guenther Steiner believes Haas F1 Team are during well in the 2017 Formula 1 Championship, as they are showing improvements that are improving their consistency.

Kevin Magnussen finished in seventh for the American-led team in a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix, one that saw him briefly challenge for the podium, this result is the best of the season so far for Haas. On the other side of the garage though, problems arose for Romain Grosjean who continued to struggle with his brakes. He finished the Grand Prix as the only driver a lap down and the last finishing car.

With him having to take an extra pit stop to investigate a left-front disc issue, he returned to the race but it wasn’t enough and had to settle for thirteenth. Grosjean’s style of racing means his brakes need to be perfect for him to perform well, meaning experiencing more problems with the brakes. An issue that Magnussen also experienced over the weekend.

“We can go straight there to our issue, which is braking,” said Steiner. “It’s not that Kevin didn’t have the problems with the brakes.

“With his driving style – for him, it’s easier to drive around it or make it less evident. He was not happy with the brakes in FP2. For the race, he had to lift and coast, as well, because we had some issues. With Romain’s driving style, the brakes need to be perfect, or as close to perfect as can be. At the moment, we are not there.”

With a much more compact midfield, the season has become more difficult for Haas, even though they’ve got more points-scoring races, they’ve left with fewer points. Currently, they are sitting only twelve points behind Scuderia Toro Rosso in seventh, but Renault Sport F1 Team are closing in behind them. Steiner believes as a team they’ve shown they are making progress, becoming more consistent.

“The game has become more difficult,” added Steiner. “The midfield is much more compact this year.

“Therefore, it’s difficult to get into the points. We’ve got more points-scoring races, but fewer points. It is tough, but I think we’ve shown we’ve made progress as a team and that we are more consistent. It takes time and you cannot buy time. You just need to give yourself time to fix problems and keep on growing. As long as we’re showing improvement, I think we’re doing well.”

The Austrian Grand Prix marks the start of the European chapter of the season, but even though they are in the same time zone and you have all your transporters, it doesn’t mean it’s easier for the teams and drivers. Steiner believes it makes it more convenient for everyone with a lot less jetlag.

“Back-to-back races are always very difficult for the guys,” explained Steiner. “Even if it is in Europe and you have all your transporters.

“To go from one place to the other by truck, it sometimes takes us as long as the flight would since we have a lot of going back and forth. It is nice to be in Europe with one time zone, though. There is a lot less jetlag. All in all, it is a little bit more convenient, but it is not easy.”