Team Principal of Haas F1 Team Guenther Steiner has revealed that development on the 2017 car was concluded “a while ago” with Haas’ focus fully shifted to the 2018 season.
However, Steiner is keen to finish the season strongly. targeting seventh place in the championship, overtaking the Renault Sport Formula One Team in the process.
“For sure, we try to finish seventh.” said Steiner.
“I think at this moment in time we would be happy with that. We stopped developing the ‘17 car quite a while ago to concentrate on next year’s car.”
The former Jaguar Racing Managing Director emphasised the need for stability for Haas, who are approaching their third season in Formula 1. And despite ceasing development on the VF-17, Steiner did confirm some small developments for the upcoming rounds and is looking towards the end of the season with optimism.
“We need to focus and stay stable year-to-year, not just one year up and down because then you create a wave effect and you never get a grip of what you’re doing.”
“We will bring a few more developments, but they are small. The last one comes in Austin. Hopefully, we can score some points. I hope also that our worst circuits are behind us, like the slow-speed, high-downforce ones. Our car doesn’t like them. It’s tough in the midfield.”
Speaking ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, Steiner believes that Haas have the potential for good points, without the need for Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean having to overly exert themselves.
“You can’t do a lot more than what your car has already, and we are pretty confident that what we’ve got is working well. We just need to find a balance for the weekend. Japan is high speed and there are some challenging corners, but it’s a nice place to be and I hope we can find a good setup and show what we can do.”
“But, you need to be a brave man around Suzuka. It’s definitely a track that tests driver skill.”
Drivers aside, Steiner expressed the importance of the engineering work involved, a balance between downforce and top speed the key to Suzuka.
“Once you find the quickest way around the track by balancing top-end speed versus downforce, the driver is quite happy because he wants to be quickest around the track. For them, the happiest is when they get a good lap time.”
“It’s mainly about how your car is set up from the beginning. You can always get a little understeer, but then you introduce oversteer into the other parts of the track. We will see how we end up.”
“I think the biggest thing is just to not make mistakes.”