Guenther Steiner reckons the Haas F1 Team would have been a top ten contender in the Australian Grand Prix had they found the pace in Saturday’s Qualifying session at Albert Park.
Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen started fifteenth and sixteenth for the third round of the season and both were embroiled in the midfield battle for much of the afternoon in Australia, but ultimately, they came up short in thirteenth and fourteenth at the chequered flag.
Schumacher was twice lucky not to crash out after getting close to being hit by the out-of-control Scuderia Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr. at the fast chicane on the second lap, before almost hitting the back of Yuki Tsunoda later in the day behind the safety car as the pack backed up ahead of him.
Magnussen also had a run-in with Tsunoda as he was forced to take avoiding action at the same chicane Sainz went off at, but unlike the Spaniard, the Dane was able to avoid the gravel trap and keep going, although he fell behind his team-mate in the incident.
Steiner, the Team Principal at Haas, believes the team were out of luck on Sunday due to the timing of the safety car, but despite having a strong car and the drivers performing well, they fell just short of the points.
“It didn’t work out as we planned,” said Steiner. “We always make sure that the safety car is out at the wrong time – but seriously though – sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you get unlucky.
“The car was strong and the drivers did a good job so we know if we qualify better we can score points, and that is what we keep on trying to do.
“As I always say, this year we’ve got a car that can score points, we’ve just had a difficult weekend. It’s one of three which was difficult, here we go again in Imola.”