Formula 1

Haas’ Guenther Steiner: “Everyone in our team is working flat out on 2023 now”

3 Mins read
Credit: Haas F1 Team Media

As the São Paulo Grand Prix, the penultimate race in the 2022 calendar approaches, Team Principal Guenther Steiner has hinted that the Haas F1 Team is already turning their attention to the upcoming 2023 season. Entering round twenty-one of the current season, Haas sits on thirty-six points in eighth position, just one point ahead of Scuderia AlphaTauri.

After a disappointing weekend at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, neither Haas drivers made it into the top ten to score points with Kevin Magnussen narrowly avoiding the last position.

During Formula 1’s last visit to Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Haas managed to hang on and finish in the seventeenth and eighteenth position after starting the race on the back row in eighteenth and nineteenth with both drivers at the time, Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher, struggling to find pace to climb up the grid.

Despite the disappointing performance at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Steiner has stated that the venue is “one of those classic tracks” and is looking forward to what he hopes to be a good race.

The Brazilian Grand Prix debuts the third and final sprint race of the season which means that Haas Formula 1 reserve driver, Miami-born Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi, is unable to participate over the weekend. Steiner commented that Haas “always welcome back Pietro driving” but the sprint race has made it difficult for the reserve driver to take a seat in the VF-22 this coming weekend.

“We always welcome back Pietro driving but unfortunately, he’s not driving in Brazil this year because it’s a Sprint weekend but he will be back in the car again in Abu Dhabi.

“In Mexico, he couldn’t drive for long because the car had an issue. Always having a national hero driving a race in their home country brings a lot of passion out of fans, especially in Brazil. Here, the fans are very passionate even without having a full-time driver in the sport at the moment.”

Credit: Haas F1 Media

With the sprint race making a return, Haas will have a welcomed opportunity to repeat the performance from the Austrian Grand Prix in which the team scored points in both the sprint race and the main race. Whilst the sprint race brings joy and excitement to the fans of Formula 1, Steiner gave his honest thoughts on the format of the weekend and how sprint race weekends could be improved for all competing teams.

“This year in Austria we scored points in both the Sprint and in the main race so for sure, I liked that. It’s a race like any other but it’s shorter and with eight drivers rather than 10 scoring points.

“I’m in favor of more Sprints as it makes the overall race weekend interesting by having qualifying on Friday. What I’d like even more is having qualifying for the Sprint on Friday and qualifying for the main race on Saturday morning, as the free practice currently isn’t very meaningful for anyone. Then on Saturday afternoon you have the Sprint, followed by the main event on Sunday.”

Despite two races being left in the 2022 calendar, the Haas team have already turned their attention to the upcoming season that kicks off on March 5th in Bahrain. Pre-testing and car launches are at the front of the minds of the Haas team as Steiner hinted that development was “going to plan” for the North Carolina-based team.

“Everyone in our team is working flat out on 2023 now. Development is going to plan – I don’t know if others are on plan, or even better than planned but we’ll only find that out during testing.

“Last year, we started a little bit late because Simone Resta, our Technical Director, had to put a team together in January which took a couple of months. In the end, we produced something that was a lot better than before, and I think the trend will continue. I’m very optimistic that we’ll have a good car for next year.”

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