Last weekend’s season opening Bahrain Grand Prix was one that the Haas F1 Team will not forget for a long-time, after Kevin Magnussen on his return to the sport, scored Haas’ first points since 2020, with a fifth place finish.
It was a day that will live with Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner for a long-time, after all the difficulties the team went through in 2021. Steiner was impressed with how all the cars on the grid performed last weekend, including his own, although he does believe that Haas’ Mick Schumacher didn’t have the best Grand Prix.
“I think we saw the speed of the cars and they will be similar until the upgrades kick in, but we still have to wait for a few more races, including street circuits, to know where everybody is at – Red Bull didn’t finish the last race but they will in future. Our drivers, from where we came to where we ended up was pretty good.
“Mick struggled a little bit more last weekend – in qualifying with his fastest lap having a little mistake and then in the race he got compromised by Ocon, who ran into the back of him, and he spun. That’s never good because you then have to clean up your tyres again and you just fall back, but he will make this up in the next races.”
Looking ahead to this weekend at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Steiner is excited to be going back to Saudi Arabia after only four months away, even though it was a painful event for the team last season, with both Schumacher and former-driver Nikita Mazepin crashing heavily.
“I really look forward to going back to Jeddah. It was a very interesting race track which was very different to anything else. The organisers did a very good job last year to get the track ready at the last minute and for sure they’ve made improvements to the little things that were not perfect the first time around. I’m really looking forward to getting back there.”
With this weekend being the first-time that the new cars will have driven on a non-permanent circuit, Steiner doesn’t believe the VF-22’s performance will be affected.
“I think the car should be competitive everywhere, in some places more and some places less, but it’s the same for everybody. In general, I think this is good for the championship.”