Tem Principal of Haas F1 Team, Guenther Steiner, believes the team are ‘cautiously optimistic‘ going into the 2018 Formula One season, and is hopeful that they will be in the top half of the midfield battle this year.
Haas are going into their third season of F1, and have had some promising moments at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, with Romain Grosjean‘s lap in qualifying last year earning him sixth place on the grid – the highest starting position for the team to date. Unfortunately, both cars were forced to retire from the race.
The team had a promising winter testing earlier this month, especially with some impressive times with Kevin Magnussen on the super soft tyre. Steiner believes the team will be comfortably challenging in the midfield this year, hoping to improve from their eighth place in the Constructor’s Championship.
“I would say we’ll know the potential of the car after qualifying in Australia,” Steiner commented. “After the test, we can say we’re in the midfield, and hopefully in the top half of the midfield. I think we are cautiously optimistic.
Every season, or at least just before the start, is the most challenging, as you don’t know what you’re going to be in for. You don’t know how strong the opposition is. It’s always a challenge, but there’s not one more than the other. It’s always a big challenge every year.”
Steiner believes that the 2018 car is better balanced than the 2017 car, but is still reluctant to speculate about their pace and performance relative to the other teams until the race itself. However, his goals for the team do include consistently getting both cars into Q3.
“I would say the guys did a very good job on aero and design to get a car that is better balanced than the 2017 car. Then again, we’ll only see in Australia how it stacks up against the other cars.
Double points is always the best finish. Getting into Q3 with both cars, that is our aim this year because then, anything can happen.”