Haas F1 Team‘s team principal, Guenther Steiner is looking to gain as many points as possible from the rest of the season while working towards the 2018 car.
The team travels to the Autodromo Internazionale Monza this weekend in the thirteenth race of the season, meaning that Formula 1 has almost turned onto the home straight for the 2017 season.
“We’re working toward next year while still focusing on this year to make as many points as possible,” commented Steiner. “The main focus now back in the factory is next year, but at the racetrack we’re always trying to get the best out of this year’s car and try to get points.”
Steiner has been quick to assure fans that the performance of the cars for the remainder of this season will not drop off to compensate for putting time into the 2018 car and not developing the current one.
“I don’t think our performance will drop off. I think the performance of some of the other teams will go up because there is no reason why we should drop off.
“If the other teams get better, we stay the same and that’s how we fall behind. I think the bigger teams will perform well and while we’ll still put effort into this year, the amount of development work we’re doing for 2017 is getting smaller and smaller. Everybody is now trying to focus on 2018.
“I don’t know what other teams have in the pipeline that’s still to come for this year, but I think the focus for most everyone in the midfield is 2018.”
Looking forwards, Steiner foresees one of the biggest problems with the 2018 model being working the additional weight of the halo onto the car.
“It’s hard every year to make a better car, but this year one of the design challenges will be the weight. Putting the halo on adds around 10 kilos (22 pounds). We are not underweight, and very few teams are underweight by 10 kilos this year, so to not increase the weight of the car will be very difficult.”
“Everyone is in the same boat, so you just have to do the best you can, just like every year. But there is no one specific challenge other than the increased weight because of the halo.”
Steiner does believe that they can produce a car that is even better than the one they have currently, partly due to experience and partly due to the additional data they have gathered this season.
“In the short term, we just try to get our processes better and introduce upgrades quicker,” said Steiner. “Long term, we just try to do more technical work, more simulation work and come better prepared to the racetrack.
“We’ve got more data now than we had last year, so we are able to make better predictions for the race. We’re using what we learned from last year and the first part of this year and applying it.”