Steiner Not Expecting Performance Drop Despite Switch of Focus to 2019

by Paul Hensby
Romain Grosjean & Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team - Spa-Francorchamps

Guenther Steiner insists the Haas F1 Team is still aiming to end the year with fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship despite the focus of their development having already switched to the 2019 season and next year’s car.

The team principal of Haas says beating the Renault Sport Formula One Team to that fourth place is the target and after last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix results, where Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finished seventh and eighth and neither Renault finished inside the top ten, the two teams head to the Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the Italian Grand Prix this weekend just six points apart.

Despite the switch in focus, Steiner does not believe the team’s performance will drop off in the final eight races of the season, and there will still be a few minor updates to come.

“They are both of equal importance,” said Steiner.  “We still want to go for a better position in the championship, which is fourth.

“We’ll still try hard on that one, as we’ve done a lot of work on the engineering side of things. Nevertheless, everybody on the design and aero teams are working on the 2019 car.

“I don’t think our performance will drop off. Everybody is still bringing stuff to the racetrack – stuff that was designed and developed months ago. We are doing the same. We will not stop here. We’ll bring some smaller upgrades.”

The race at Monza is important for Haas as it is the home event for chassis manufacturers Dallara as well as their technical partners at Scuderia Ferrari, and Steiner hopes to give them all some more things to cheer about this weekend.

“With Dallara’s headquarters only an hour drive from Monza, I’m sure that a lot of their people will be there,” said Steiner.  “Dallara is a big part of our team. They were there at the beginning of our team and they still are. With time, the relationship has gotten better and easier.

It’s always good to be there because of the passion people have for the racecars. The history of Monza and the passion of the Tifosi give the Italian Grand Prix a great atmosphere, and with it being close to both of our technical partners, we want to do our best.

“Our technical relationship with Ferrari is very good. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are. The relationship was always good, it’s just easier now as we know each other and everybody knows the expectations. It is a good relationship.”

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