Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team’s team principal, believes the team are making small progress and is encouraged by how both drivers are continuing to learn despite another disappointing showing in qualifying.
It’s no secret that Haas would struggle this season, not only because they have two rookie drivers at the helm in 2021, but the team have practically kept the 2020 car while everyone else around them has slightly upgraded. So, it was no surprise to see them one of the slowest cars around the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
Ahead of qualifying on Saturday afternoon, the teams had a final practice session in Portugal, and it was a positive one for Haas, especially Mick Schumacher after he recorded the fifteenth fastest time.
However, qualifying was the usual routine for the American-based team. Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin were both eliminated in Q1, with the former starting in nineteenth ahead of his team-mate, who will begin the race on Sunday at the bottom of the pack.
Despite another disappointing result in qualifying, Steiner believes the team are getting closer to fighting for a spot in Q2 and wants to end the weekend with both cars finishing the race.
“We had a good FP3, everything was going in the right direction. In qualifying, we were a little bit short of not finishing nineteenth and twentieth,” said Steiner.
“I think we’re making progress and getting closer and closer; it just takes a little bit more and we’ll make it not to be last.
“It’s encouraging how the guys learn and hopefully tomorrow we make another step on that learning curve and finish the race with both cars. That is our aim.”