Pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya did not start the way the Uralkali Haas F1 Team were hoping for as they completed only forty-three laps across the eight hours of running on Wednesday.
A cooling leak during the morning session meant Nikita Mazepin could only manage twenty laps on board the VF-22, leaving him down in fifteenth place of the sixteen drivers to take to the track, but the Russian says it is important for them to get significant running in on Thursday to catch up.
“Firstly, it was great to get out,” said Mazepin. “The whole team is coming alive, and the car has been born. It felt nice because the set-up and the way you run the car during these days is different to how we ran it on filming day.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get too many laps in – we had a cooling leak which prevented us from doing more laps – but it’s just the beginning. I think the car is looking strong when figuring out the balance.
“Everyone is learning about this very new car and there are some things that don’t quite match the simulations, but we’re quick learners!”
Mick Schumacher took over the car in the afternoon, but repairs to a damaged floor left him able to complete only twenty-three laps, with Haas one of only two teams not to break through the one-hundred lap bracket alongside Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN.
Schumacher says there is nothing to be concerned about despite the limited mileage, but he is already more confident than he was back in 2021 as he knows Haas will be developing the VF-22, something they did not do with the VF-21.
“Nothing to be concerned about – the smile isn’t as big as it could be as we would’ve liked a three-digit number on the board – but those things happen,” said Schumacher. “It’s now about trying to get the laps that we lost today in tomorrow.
“We’ll have to wait and see what Bahrain looks like but at least we’re developing the car this year and can react to things, making things better.”
“Hopefully that’s some of our issues over and done with” – Guenther Steiner
Team Principal Guenther Steiner says it has been ‘one of those days’ were small issues affected the team, but he hopes this will be the only setback of the three days in Barcelona as they bid to give both Schumacher and Mazepin as many laps as possible on Thursday and Friday.
“Well starting off, it’s a positive to be back at track and finally seeing the VF-22 come to life,” said Steiner. “The entire team has worked incredibly hard through our car build to get us to this point.
Unfortunately, it’s been one of those days where a few small issues end up costing you considerable time in the garage. So, there’s not necessarily a lot to take from today other than hopefully that’s some of our issues over and done with.
“All being well tomorrow we’ll have greater reliability and we can get into a more thorough run-plan for both Mick (Schumacher) and Nikita (Mazepin).”