Haas’ Guenther Steiner: “We don’t know what we have until we get there”


Guenther Steiner expects a strong response to a tough Hungarian weekend this weekend in Belgium - Credit: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Images

Guenther Steiner is hopeful the summer break has given the Haas F1 Team the chance to recover from a couple of difficult race weekends, with the Hungarian Grand Prix last time out in particular a very trying weekend for youngest team on the grid.

However, the next two races on the calendar are at very different circuits to the Hungaroring, with this weekends race at Spa-Francorchamps being followed by the race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, and Haas team principal Steiner is confident that they can have much better weekends in both Belgium and Italy, although the tightly-packed nature of Formula 1’s midfield makes it tricky to predict.

“We tried to hit the reset button, but we don’t know what we have until we get there and get our running in,” said Steiner. “We struggled a little bit in Hungary with it being a low-speed track.

“We are bringing some items for low downforce or low drag for Spa and Monza, and we are as confident as we can be that it works, but everybody else will be doing the same. It will be, as always, a tight pack in the midfield.

“It is nice to have two similar races one after the other. If you’re good in Spa, you normally should be good in Monza as well, but it can go the other way, too. So, let’s hope we are good in Spa.”

Steiner will be hoping the issues that befell Haas during Friday practice in Hungary do not reoccur, with both Romain Grosjean and test driver Antonio Giovinazzi hitting the wall, with the latter’s crash preventing Kevin Magnussen from taking to the track in second practice until late in the day.

The team principal expects everyone within the team to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and return to the fight this weekend in Belgium.

“Racing involves ups and downs and you try to keep the downs as little as possible,” said Steiner. “I don’t think anybody wants that experience, but when you have those downs like we had in Hungary, we get back up again.

“We had the same thing happen to us last year and it happens to all of the teams. It’s not always ‘everything is fantastic,’ but I think the team is aware of this and nobody drops their head in defeat.

“It’s all about how you come back, not how you got down. We will try hard and we will come back again.”

Steiner knows that the battle to be the fourth best team on the grid, after the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, is intense, and has not been locked down by one team so far in 2017, and it could be the same story again at Spa-Francorchamps.

“Everything is possible here,” said Steiner.  “In Austria, we had the fourth-fastest car. And in Hungary, Renault had the fourth-fastest car. It’s such an up and down in the midfield.

“Right now, it seems teams like Renault and McLaren have made gains, but maybe it is track specific. Nobody really knows.”