Formula 1

Haas’ Guenther Steiner: “Once you’re in the barriers in Monaco, your session is lost”

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Credit: Charles Coates / LAT Images

Guenther Steiner says it will be important for both Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin to have a clean Monaco Grand Prix weekend, and he will be telling both drivers to avoid crashing at any cost.

A crash around the Circuit de Monaco is often session-ending and likely means a lot of damage to the car, and Steiner, the Team Principal of the Uralkali Haas F1 Team, says both drivers will need to stay between the walls and barriers throughout the weekend.

“Regarding the briefing – stay out of the walls and off the barriers,” said Steiner.  “That’s what we’ll let them know.

“Once you’re in the barriers in Monaco, your session is lost. You cannot get the car back and it’s normally pretty damaged anyway.”

Steiner acknowledges that the challenge of driving around the tight and twisty streets of Monaco is always ‘big’ for drivers, but it will be up to his two rookies to take their time to learn how to drive the circuit in a Formula 1 car for the first time.

“The challenge is big. It’s a very tight circuit, it’s obviously a street circuit, and you’ve got lots of people watching – everything you don’t want on a race like this,” he said.  “On the other side, you do want it though, that’s why we’re doing it.

“There should be little pressure on the drivers there as we know our performance. They should be looking at the race just to gain experience so when they return with a better car they’ll have learned how to deal with Monaco – which is obviously a very special race in the Formula 1 calendar.”

Haas remain rooted to the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship after the first four races of 2021, but Steiner says he is happy with the way both Schumacher and Mazepin are progressing this year, particularly when it comes to the relationship between them and their engineers.

“At the moment we’re very happy with how they’re getting along with the team,” said Steiner.  “You can always get better, but we’re at a very good point, and the relationships with the people they work directly with are improving – they’ve started off on a good foot and it’s just a work in progress.

“There are a lot of people working in a Formula 1 team and the drivers need to get to know them better, especially the people that work directly with them. Up to now though it’s been very positive progress.”

Monaco was absent from the calendar in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Steiner says it is great to be returning to the legendary track in 2021, particularly when a small number of fans will be allowed to attend.

“Going to Monaco is always fantastic,” said Steiner.  “It’s a historic event – the most historic event in my opinion for Formula 1, and it’s good for Monte Carlo as well that we’re back there. It’s open for business again.

“As much as we deal with the challenges and issues of the limited space, all the logistics there and so on, to be back is fantastic. To have fans there, at least a small amount of them, it’s very good. We’re really looking forward to it.” 

Nikita Mazepin needs a clean weekend in Monaco, according to Guenther Steiner – Credit: Zak Mauger / LAT Images
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