Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Ferrari’s testing performance shows power unit has improved – Steiner

2021 F1 season

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is sure Ferrari has improved its power unit for the 2021 F1 season following its difficulties last year.

The Ferrari customer team finished ninth in the 2020 championship. Along with its fellow Ferrari users, the team’s car suffered from a lack of speed on the straights.

But Steiner said Ferrari’s performance in testing showed the progress they had made with their latest engine, which Haas will also use this year.

“For us it’s very difficult to have a back-to-back with the power unit from last year,” he explained. “But I fully trust Ferrari in what they are saying to us as well as what they’re doing. We can see on their car that it’s better.”

Haas have two new drivers this year, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, which limited their opportunities to compare their new car and engine with the old.

“For us, our testing was mainly focused on getting the two rookies as many laps as possible,” said Steiner. “We couldn’t really do back-to-back as Mick, for example, was only in last year’s car for one full day after Abu Dhabi, and Nikita only drove a Haas F1 car for the first time on our shakedown in Bahrain this year.

“I fully trust in Ferrari and I’m sure that the power unit is more powerful.”

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After running into financial trouble during 2020, Haas has attracted backing from new title sponsor Uralkali. The team has taken the decision to concentrate its efforts on new regulations which will arrive for the 2022 F1 season. As a result its new car for 2021 is little changed from its predecessor.

Guenther Steiner, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021
“A point or two would be fantastic” – Steiner
“The light at the end of the tunnel is 2022 where we will be back at our full strength because we regrouped last year and we made a step back to make two forward,” Steiner explained. “For sure, some things will be challenging, also personally to keep on pushing, but I think we can do this.

“In the end, it’s all in nine months, but it’s 23 races. We are prepared for it and we’ll get it done.”

The team scored just three points with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen last year. Steiner is setting his sights low ahead of the new season, in which the team’s priority is preparing for 2022.

“I would hope that our two drivers learn as much as possible and maybe even more than that in order to get ready for next year.

“If we can get a point or two at some stage – that would be a fantastic result. But we are realistic, and points will be hard to come by.

“As long as we learn, we improve, and can get back to where we were in the past – I’m happy. It’s going to be a hard climb this season, but we will get something good out of it, we always do.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 4 comments on “Ferrari’s testing performance shows power unit has improved – Steiner”

    1. I fear it’s gonna be another tough season for Haas. Considering they have barely changed anything on the car and Williams have made a step forward (although their car’s performance seems to heavily depend on external factors, i.e. wind speed & direction), I don’t see Haas scoring any points this season. They’d need a chaotic race with multiple retirements and a nicely timed SC to score points this season.

      Regarding the Ferrari PU, it’s certainly a good step forward compared to last year’s disaster. The Ferrari-powered cars won’t get swallowed on the straights like they were last year, I’m absolutely sure about that. Although I very much doubt they’ve completely closed the gap to Mercedes (& Honda), it seems to be at least on par with the Renault, if not slightly more powerful.

      AMuS did a comparison of top speeds and best sector times a couple of days ago and it showed all Ferrari PUs in the top five (top speed), which is somewhat encouraging. Although I doubt RB and all the Mercedes-powered cars were running as high engine modes as them.

      1. Yes, I am aware of the fact that they deliberately sacrifice this season in order to be well prepared for a good season in 2022.
        But it’s still painful to see a team comfortably last, not being able to fight for decent positions and not even having a fight with another competitior, considering Williams should be well ahead of them this season.

    2. do we have any gps/max speed data at all from the tests?
      just to compare ferrari engine speed to the others…

      or i guess we’ll wait to the end of the week

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