Guenther Steiner, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019

‘I’m not very happy, we should have more points’ – Steiner

2019 F1 season

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says his team should have made more out of the potential they displayed in the opening races of 2019.

The VF19s have led the midfield in qualifying for both of the two races so far but managed just a single points-scoring finish with Kevin Magnussen in Australia. Steiner admitted life is tougher in the midfield this year.

“The midfield is, I wouldn’t say closer than last year, it’s just [there’s] more people in it. I think everybody can be in it at some stage.

“This year the leading midfield team could be different from track to track. It’s not one team leading the midfield it looks to me.

“But our position, like we are now, I’m obviously not very happy. We should be at more points. But it’s still very tight, nobody got away. I think it could be a very interesting midfield. Even more interesting than last year.”

The tea qualified just five thousandths of a second slower than the quickest Red Bull in Bahrain but dropped back quickly in the race.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019
Haas struggled in Bahrain: “We are still there finishing the race”
“The pace was going away,” said Steiner. “We were lucky to have a test afterwards and it looks like we didn’t manage the tyres in a good way. I hope we found the cause and we don’t repeat it, that’s the aim.

“The car, we just lost the performance, the tyres didn’t work any more after a few laps and we lost our pace over the race.”

Steiner said the team’s Bahrain performance shows the importance of getting the tyre set-up right.

“If you go back last year Toro Rosso was very fast last year in Bahrain. I think in Bahrain if you fall into a perfect window with the tyre you can be very fast, or very slow like us.

“Obviously it goes both ways, we went the wrong way. I think tyre management as always is very important. It just look to me, and I have no data or objective measurement, that Bahrain is more difficult than others ones. But I think we missed it in Bahrain. Not think, I know, because we are still there finishing the race. Very slow.”

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2019 F1 season

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9 comments on “‘I’m not very happy, we should have more points’ – Steiner”

  1. This guy is gold 🤣

    The only blotch on his record imho is retaining Moanjean.

  2. tony mansell
    11th April 2019, 11:01

    Yeh they could’ve looked like rockstars, instead…….

  3. Sure.

  4. robinsonf1 (@)
    11th April 2019, 11:39

    Imo the worst race team on the grid. Fantastic business model that produces a strong chassis, but that race team just keep messing it up. Hearing that they don’t even inform their drivers of traffic in qualy is just the icing on the cake for me.

    1. Hearing that they don’t even inform their drivers of traffic in qualy is just the icing on the cake for me.

      This has been found to be fake news. Martin Brundle talks out of his rear at times.

      1. robinsonf1 (@)
        11th April 2019, 16:28

        @lums

        Fair enough. Although seeing how Haas manage traffic over their race weekends they make it easy to believe him!

        1. @robinsonf1, as you note, they’ve certainly had quite a few penalties over the years for unsafe releases and for impeding, to the point where it was hard to tell that it was meant to be just a sarcastic dismissal of their competence.

          I wouldn’t say that they are the worst team on the grid, but do think it is fair to say that their overall performance feels like less than the sum of their parts.

          They’ve had a tendency to start out strong at the start of a season, but their development rate during the season has tended to be worse than their rivals and they’ve usually dropped back. They’ve often had niggling technical issues during a season that have held them back – remember, for example, their brake issues in 2016 and, to a lesser extent, in 2017, or the tyre management issues they’re having now – that leave them struggling to maximise their performance.

          Although they’ve been OK strategically, they’ve not been exceptional in that respect and, if anything, when they do diverge from the normal strategies, usually it’s ended up not working out – their decision to try and make a one stop race work in Bahrain when two stops was clearly the better strategy didn’t exactly help.

          The fact that they’ve sometimes struggled to get both drivers comfortable with the car and maximising their performance has also cost them points. Grosjean might have been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism last year, and unsurprisingly so, but in the latter half of the season, Grosjean settled down and Magnussen ended up going backwards (Grosjean did ultimately edge out Magnussen in qualifying over the season, and in the latter half of the season he beat Magnussen 6-3 in terms of finishing position too).

          There have also been the technical glitches as well – the disqualification in Monza was avoidable (they could have reverted back to the floor they used earlier in the season), then the time they were in trouble with the FIA over loose bodywork because they were short of spares and tried patching bits up on the car, which inevitably began to break off – and the operational mistakes in the pit lane as well.

          Now, it is fair to say that they’ve had a sensible attitude towards their issues – not seeking to have a blame culture, which can so easily turn toxic – but, at the same time, their inexperience does show through and it does feel as if they’re squandering some of their resources.

          They kind of got away with it last season, given how other teams also hit their own problems, but this year things look tougher – McLaren look like they’re on an upward curve, Kimi’s steadily accumulating points at Alfa Romeo and, although a little fragile right now, Renault look like their car has decent potential as well. Racing Point may start catching up too, though I get the feeling Stroll is aiming for the longer term and investing now with an eye to 2020.

          Whereas Haas could get away with some mistakes last year and still get a reasonably good 5th place, I can see them slipping back down the field given their failures to maximise what they’ve got.

  5. Had to check the date of the article, thought it was from last year’s race weekend…

  6. Looks like having Grosjean in the team has increased the moaning abilities of Steiner as well.

    They’ve constantly underperformed after having a decent car. Sometimes they don’t understand the tyres….sometimes they don’t understand how to develop the chassis… sometimes they mess up their on track operations.. sometimes they have underperforming drivers.

    A lot of this stems from the fact that they don’t build their own car and parts, so they don’t fully understand the intricacies of tyre management and chassis development. They can’t maximise their performance because they probably don’t know how to. What they can do better is on track operations and driver management… but they seem pretty bad at that as well.. considering they’re more of an outsourcing unit than a racing team.

    I think for a team that has the least amount of capability and knowledge about going racing, their points total seems fine. He needs to just stop moaning about and maybe build on their core competency… whatever that is in Haas’ case.

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