Formula 1

Haas’ Guenther Steiner: “I wouldn’t say it’s planning to benchmark”

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Credit: Haas F1 Team Media

Uralkali Haas F1 Team travel to Austria as part of a double-header at the Red Bull Ring, with the team having fond memories of the circuit in the past, but it will be a completely different experience over the next two weeks.

In the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix, the American-based team recorded its best-ever result with a fourth and fifth-place finish with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. However, Gunether Steiner, team principal of Haas, will be leading his team to Austria tenth in the Championship without a single point.

George Russell finished twelfth at the French Grand Prix, sending Williams Racing above Haas into ninth, whilst both Haas drivers finished nineteenth and twentieth.

Although Schumacher and Mazepin will compete at the same circuit, just one week apart, Steiner doesn’t believe it’s a good time to benchmark the progress of both drivers behind the wheel of the VF-21.

“I wouldn’t say it’s planning to benchmark. It gives them a chance that if on the first race we learn something, we can try something different for the second race.

“It’s more a test that if we learn something you can think about it a little bit longer than on a race weekend and that’s the opportunity for us.”

Just like the French Grand Prix, this weekend will also see supporters making a return to the grandstands, with 15,000 spectators being allowed to enter for each day of Styrian Grand Prix, and Steiner expects to see plenty of support for Max Verstappen.

“I think it’s the amount of passion from the people. It’s always been a race where a lot of people have come from everywhere and now it seems to be taken over by the Dutch fans.

“We know they are very loyal to Max – they like to party, and they know how to do it! I think that’s one thing but in general, it’s the scenery – it’s beautiful – and it is a good race track and everybody enjoys it.”

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