Haas F1 Team principal Guenther Steiner believes that the speed of the big three teams and the competitiveness between the rest of the field shows Formula 1 has no midfield anymore.
The American team arrives into the German Grand Prix after completing the triple header, scoring in all three races that occurred.
Romain Grosjean scored his first points of the season at the Red Bull Ring with a fourth place finish, with Kevin Magnussen continues to score points with a sixth, fifth and ninth place respectfully.
Whilst the mechanics and engineers are tired from the three consecutive race weekends, Steiner says that the pain of doing three race weekends is made easier with three point finishes.
“We can’t forget that our team also had an additional test after Silverstone, so they’ve had three-and-a-half weekends of racing. They just finished on Wednesday with the Pirelli test at Silverstone.” said Steiner
“I’m sure everyone was tired, but the good thing is we scored good points over the three events. That makes the pain of having three events a lot easier. It’s something I personally feel is tiring. You cannot breathe between races because you have to keep on going and going.
“When you do try to relax, you know that you’ve been working three weeks in a row, and the same goes for the team. I hope they can recover and be fresh again for Hockenheim.”
When asked about fighting for the ‘best of the rest’ status behind the big three teams, Steiner says for a new team to be as competitive proves that it is possible.
“I think we proved that it is possible to start a team from new and be competitive in the midfield. Obviously, we are very conscious that we cannot compete with the big three, but I think it’s testimony to a good plan and good people.”
Haas have been a revelation this season having jumped most of the midfield teams at majority of the races so far as the season reaches the halfway point. A chance for a podium finish was taken away from them after a double wheel gun failure on both cars at the Australian Grand Prix.
Judging the competitiveness of their rivals, Steiner says that all teams are very good teams and believes the sport has no midfield running anymore.
“After testing, we were cautiously optimistic that could be achieved, but it’s still a difficult task as all the other teams in Formula One are very good teams – there is nobody who is uncompetitive.” Steiner continued.
“There is not really a midfield anymore. It’s just the rest. There’s the top-three and then the rest. Everybody from fourth to 10th can be competing for points this year, as we’ve all seen.
“Now, being fifth, it’s nice to be there. After testing it was realistic to think we could be there, but we were very conscious that it would be hard work, and it is hard work, actually.”
Heading into the Hockenheimring for the first time since 2016, the teams will tackle the 2.8 circuit with the wider, faster F1 cars introduced in 2017 for the first time.
Steiner fears that their car will struggle in the tight sectors of the track, having troubles around slow corners in the past but feels they’ll still be competitive for the weekend.
“We are a little bit worried about the tight sector of Hockenheim, as it’s very slow. Then again, we will work on it to do our best. For sure, the car is more competitive on high-speed corners. It’s actually very competitive on high-speed corners.
We’ve had some issues on the slow-speed tracks. Let’s see what we can do on Friday to set the car up to get over our deficiencies on the low-speed portions. Maybe we’ll find a little bit of speed there and still be competitive.”