Despite seeing a best-ever points haul go out of the window in the pits during the Australian Grand Prix, Guenther Steiner heads into the Bahrain Grand Prix cautiously optimistic the Haas F1 Team can have a similar performance in the desert.
Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean started fifth and sixth in Australia and were on course to finish in the same kind of positions only for both to suffer problems in their pit stops that caused them both to leave the pits without all four wheels attached properly.
However, the pace of the cars was strong, and Team Principal Steiner is hopeful they can be quick again in Bahrain.
“I would say I’m still cautiously optimistic,” said Steiner. “I would never be arrogant and say, ‘Oh we will do the same in Bahrain,’ but, for sure, we will try to do the same.
“The car showed speed in Barcelona and Melbourne. There is a point, maybe after China, where we will really know where we are. We will see when we get there. I think the car is competitive.
“Will it be the same as Australia, compared to the opposition? I don’t know, because I don’t know what they’re doing. Again, I’m cautiously optimistic that it can be done.”
Looking back at the troubles that robbed Haas of their best-ever race results, Steiner says that this kind of thing happen in motor sport, and their will always be ups and downs in Formula 1, but at least they can look back at Australia with that confidence that they were in contention.
“For sure, it’s difficult, but that’s racing,” said Steiner. “I’ve been doing this a long time. There are moments like this, with real downs.
“The good thing is the car seems to be quick, so you look forward to going to the next race and making sure you do a better job. We still have to go and do it in Bahrain, but I think we’re in a good position do something similar like we did in Australia performance-wise.”
Steiner also says they have plans in place to ensure a repeat of the pit stop woes do not reoccur again, but all in all, everyone within the team can be proud of what they’ve achieved in the past couple of years.
“As a team, we made mistakes,” said Steiner. “We had too much work to do on the car and didn’t practice enough. I think the key to all of this is to get the practice in before the race so that we’re prepared for all aspects of the race.
“You just have to explain what happened and be honest about it. We made mistakes, but we do have processes in place. Last year, in the second half of the season, we had some of the best pit stops on pit lane. We can do it. I think the lack of practice produced the result in Australia. Nevertheless, stuff like this happens. You get over it and move on.
“It’s all down to people. Everybody on the team can be proud of what we’ve achieved over the last couple of years, and with what we’re going to achieve this year and next year. We have a good bunch of people who have put us in this position where we look very competitive this year.”
Steiner admits it would be difficult not to dwell on what transpired in Australia should a good result not come in Bahrain for Haas, but they will be doing there best to score their first points of the year.
“I think if we achieve a good result in Bahrain, we will forget about Melbourne,” said Steiner. “If we don’t, we’ll dwell over what happened in Australia until the time we have a fantastic result, or time gets us over it.
“The aim is to do everything right and come home with a good result.”