Haas rookies discovering how much they had to learn – Steiner

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says his rookie drivers “thought they know it all” when they arrived in F1.

In brief

Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin are beginning to appreciate how much they still had to learn when they made their F1 debuts, says Steiner.

“There’s always room for improvement in all of us, I think,” he said. “They are improving and as I always said in the beginning of the year, at some stage, they will actually realise how little did they know when they started F1 in Bahrain this year. I don’t know when that is coming, but there is normally a moment when you get to it, when you’re learning it, when you’re young.

“For sure in Bahrain, they thought they know it all, and then 10 races later they’ll say ‘wow, how little did I know?’. And the bigger the surprise, that means the more you learned in the 10 races. You just realise how different it is than you thought it would be.”

The pair have “made good progress” in the six races since their debuts, said Steiner. “There is always room to improve and I think we have got still a way to go. Both have got a little bit of a disadvantage that they have nobody experienced to judge against. It maybe makes the learning tougher but you learn more.”

Red Bull must sustain development push – Verstappen

Red Bull can’t afford to relent in the development fight with Mercedes if it is to win this year’s championship, says Max Verstappen.

“We have to keep on pushing,” said the points leader. “We have to keep on bringing new bits to the car to make it faster. And I think that’s what’s going to decide the championship at the end.”

No date change for Brazil’s Grand Prix

A Formula 1 spokesperson told RaceFans that Brazil’s round of the world championship, officially titled the Sao Paolo Grand Prix, will not be postponed by a weekend, contrary to remarks made by FIA Karting Commission president Felipe Massa in an interview published elsewhere yesterday.


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Comment of the day

The “very extreme” driving style which Sergio Perez’s previous team noted hasn’t stopped him winning at Red Bull, notes Jon.

Every time Perez is near the front the excitement of the races tends to go up for some reason. Well done Checo and respect for acknowledging Albon’s work. Now go work on making that extreme style produce a pole position.

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On this day in F1

  • 15 years ago today Lewis Hamilton completed a sweep of both GP2 races at Silverstone, winning the sprint event after a thrilling, three-wide pass on Nelson Piquet Jnr and Clivio Piccione

Author information

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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16 comments on “Haas rookies discovering how much they had to learn – Steiner”

  1. It is São Paulo.

  2. “We have to keep on pushing,” said the points leader. “We have to keep on bringing new bits to the car to make it faster. And I think that’s what’s going to decide the championship at the end.”

    The biggest mistake Red Bull can make at this point in the season is do a BMW. They have the chance to win the WDC now, so take it with both hands.

    Mercedes is still the marginally better car overall (easy to forget that Baku is literally the first time Perez has finished ahead of Bottas all season). Red Bull need every bit of development they can get.

    1. Regarding 2008 BMW, I don’t think BMW did the wrong thing by focusing on 2009.

      The only reason it seemed like BMW had a chance in 2008 was because Ferrari and Mclaren drivers made several mistakes in the 1st half of the season. Few that I can recollect – Ferrari double retirement at Australia, Massa spinning out at Malaysia, Hamilton running into the back of Alonso in Bahrain and into the back of Kimi at Canada, Kimi having a lacklustre Monaco GP.

      It was always a matter of time that one of the teams manage to shake off such mistakes. BMW were ultimately no better than the 3rd fastest car. Hence, they definitely had no chance in WCC.

      In WDC, they did have a chance with Kubica. However, with the 3rd fastest car, he was undoubtedly dependent on the Kimi, Hamilton, Massa continuing to make mistakes in the races. And that wasn’t a given in the middle of the season when BMW shifted focus to 2009. In the middle of 2008, would you have really believed that Kimi would suddenly not be faster than Massa and Lewis would make few mistakes / get shafted by FIA.

      Moreover, the performance of Brawn and Red Bull in 2009 showed that shifting focus to 2009 was worth a gamble. These 2 teams have now won all the championships since 2009.

      BMW’s decision to focus on 2009 was justified IMO.

      1. BMW were ultimately no better than the 3rd fastest car. Hence, they definitely had no chance in WCC.

        Ferrari nearly won the WDC in 2012 with probably the 4th quickest car on the grid. There are some seasons where the driver can make a huge difference when neither of the top 2 teams are finding their footing. In 2008, I think Kubica drove better than both Hamilton and Massa. He did have an outside shot at the WDC. I think a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

        1. I agree a driver can make a huge difference when drivers of the top team are unable to find their footing. But honestly, that doesn’t happen much in Formula One. If I look at last 30 years (1992 onwards), the only examples of a driver winning the title in not the fastest car are 1995, 2008 and 2018. There are more examples of drivers winning titles in dominant machinery in spite of making a fair few mistakes (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016). (Note: Excluding 1994 and 2005 out of these because car disqualifications, car legality and unreliability respectively played an unnaturally large role in these 2 championships)

          That Kubica had a great chance of winning 2008 is a conclusion you can reach only at the end of 2008. In middle of 2008 when the decision of 2008 vs 2009 had to be taken, there wasn’t enough evidence to continue focus on 2008.

          1. Lol 2008 and 2018, Hamilton didnt have the fastest car? I almost took what you said seriously until that. And no, dont point to the mm article where they compare qualy times to say ferrari was marginally faster in 2018. That doesnt account for any of the races or Hamiltons consistently poor performances in the first quarter of every season. He has already flubbed almost half the races this year alone, just like early 2018. Fans will conveniently forget by the end of the season like always.

  3. Re Haas: It can’t be easy considering how terrible they are.
    Re Red Bull: It will be the closest WCC race since 2008.
    Re Brazil: “Not Called The Brazilian GP” Grand Prix, that’s all. Don’t know why they had to ditch the name.
    Re Double COTA: Wouldn’t mind if they’re the double headers…
    Re Australian GP: …or the calendar will end up being 22.

  4. Weird take on the Ticktum incident, @keithcollantine. That corner is fine for 2 cars going into it, but 3 is too much. Would you say it’s Pourchaire’s fault for not knowing Dan was on the inside? It was a bit like the La Source incident between the Ferraris and Verstappen from 2016, when Max darted to the inside and Seb had no clue there was no room on the inside for Kimi because a car came in there out of nowhere.

    Btw, Ticktum lied thereafter saying that Armstrong and Pourchaire already made contact when he made it onto the scene, whereas it was clear to everyone and their grandma that Ticktum clips Armstrong first. Then he goes on moaning and whining for the rest of the race.

    ‘Didn’t brake late’ ‘didn’t lose control’, yeah you’re right. He misjudged the manoeuvre. Sometimes 3 into one doesn’t go. I think he deserved the penalty.

    1. Yeah, saw that incident. I actually agree with Keith and it did seem more like a racing incident to me. Dan did reduce his speed substantially in order to take the corner completely on the inside while leaving space on the outside. Armstrong had space on the outside but obviously couldn’t see Ticktum and had no way of knowing that he was supposed to budget space for him.

      No driver was fully at fault.

      I guess Dan got the penalty simply because the other two came off worse in the incident compared to Dan.

      1. While I agree with Keith that Dan made an earnest overtaking attempt, he did very clearly come in third of the group of three, attempted his overtake last of the three, knowing the other two drivers were side by side going into that corner and he should have known his being there would inevitable cause a crash due to a lack of room in that corner.

        Dan should and would have known putting his car there meant one of the drivers would have to go into the run-off area, or into the wall and I assume that’s what he was betting at. You can’t say “well, he couldn’t have known they wouldn’t leave space for him” when he obviously seen the track and raced on it before. It’s a street circuit with limited space, three wide doesn’t fit, ever, and he was the last of the three to throw in his hat in an overtake, therefor he is the one most to blame for causing the lack of room and the crash. His penalty was justified.

    2. Agreed. I saw it live and immediately thought it was a daft move that was only ever going to end in a crash. Ticktum’s been doing this long enough to know better, but consistently makes poor decisions and blames everyone else.
      There’s opportunism, and then there’s recklessness.

    3. I have to disagree with @keithcollantine on this one. He wasn’t fully alongside and came from a long way back whilst surely seeing it was already going to be two-wide already. I thought it was a bit of a reckless divebomb in the circumstances tbh.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        11th June 2021, 13:42

        @john-h – Yeah I agree – the move never looked to be on. He wasn’t far enough alongside for that move to stick if it was only on one car, nevermind two.

  5. Brazilian GP won’t get postponed but cancelled eventually, LOL.

    Australian GP can only happen if the mandatory 14-day isolation gets lifted in time (the same for Japan). Otherwise, unrealistic. Waiting until October is impossible because the previous month, around Monza time is when the build-up process would commence. The day track build-up would have to begin at the very latest is the ultimate deadline.

    Another COTA race is something that should be a resort only if Mexican GP gets called off, not otherwise. Better first prioritize the Singapore and (likely) Japan replacement event options prior.

    COTD: I agree.

  6. Both have got a little bit of a disadvantage that they have nobody experienced to judge against.

    It isn’t just both Mick and Nikita who would benefit from having an experienced driver, and especially a really good and experienced driver, to compare themselves against, Haas would also benefit too.

    1. Haas had two (sufficiently) good and experienced drivers, and gave them both up.
      And I’d suggest that one of the main reasons they did give them up was to remain on the grid at all.

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