Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Haas drivers must “keep their noses clean” in Sprint Qualifying – Steiner

2021 British Grand Prix

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says it is important for his drivers to stay out of trouble in Formula 1’s first Sprint Qualifying race this weekend.

The starting grid for the British Grand Prix will be decided by a new race on Saturday. It will also award points to the top three finishers.

It remains to be seen how eager drivers will be to fight and overtake each other, given the risk of potentially crashing out and having to start from the back. However Steiner expects to see action in the Saturday race.

“I think for sure the drivers will race hard because in qualifying everyone races hard and this is a sprint race which defines the qualifying positions,” he said. “On Sunday, when points are at stake, you want to be in the best position to start the race as you can.”

Haas have been the slowest team at every race so far this year, and drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin have come close to colliding on several occasions. Steiner will warn his drivers to stay out of trouble.

“From our side, this year it’s all about learning. So running the race, having a few more race starts during the year because of sprint qualifying format will be an advantage [for] next year. On the sprint, I will tell them to keep their noses clean and keep the cars on the track.”

The Sprint Qualifying race will last for a maximum of 17 laps or half an hour. Drivers will have free choice of tyres and Mazepin hopes it will be possible to push flat-out on the rubber for the whole distance.

“I’m not sure what to expect from the Sprint Qualifying format,” he said. “I think Formula 1 has kept the same format for quite a few years and it will be nice to get a new format to try out at Silverstone.

“With the current tyres you need to plan the amount of laps you’re going to be doing on them. Hopefully we can push flat-out for the whole time as normally we do not get to do that. Potentially, every lap will be like a qualifying lap for that short period of time.”

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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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  • 18 comments on “Haas drivers must “keep their noses clean” in Sprint Qualifying – Steiner”

    1. It would be terrible if they touch wheels and end up starting at the back of the grid on Sunday.

      1. Yeah, that would be a huge setback :-). Instead of staring on the 10th row, they might suddenly be at the back @geekzilla9000!

        I guess Haas has some hopes of others tangling or running into issues and maybe having their cars start a bit more ahead because of that (provided they don’t crash), although I doubt it would help them much on Sunday even if they started a few places further up the grid.

        1. Haas are one of the most disappointing teams on the grid. Initially they were the plucky team who would score points on a semi-regular basis and even had the potential to surprise during qualy. Grosjean and Magnussen were capable of more than the Haas delivered, I’d have loved to have seen Magnussen in more midfield battles – he was certainly entertaining to watch and had the largest, most pointiest elbows in F1!

          As far as millionaire hobbies go, owning an F1 just ain’t as glamourous as it sounds, especially when its a team who qualifies last and finishes last. For the last few seasons I’ve been saying that Gene Haas looks less and less interested and will sell up, maybe one year I’ll be correct!

          But for anyone out there wanting to buy an F1 team, I don’t think Haas will take much persuasion to sell up.

          1. Haas never intended to do well this year. They have a smaller budget than most, and are basically using last year’s car while putting their money into the huge change next year. With that plan, it has been well understood that they would be in last place on the grid this year… But next year things will be different.

            Reply moderated
          2. Haas will wait at least until 2022 to see where their performance is with the new rules change prior to cashing in his chips. It’s really sad to see how poorly they are doing after their initial promising results. It seems that their problems are numerous and the points system for upgrades left them unable to address nearly enough, but I am cynical and suspect they’ll still be at the back come 2022.

            They really burned their public image when they brought Mazepin on board and it may be hard to dig themselves out of that hole. They look awfully pathetic and the rest of the grid and the fans have to put up with his antics for at least a whole season so Gene can save some cash. Cool.

    2. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      12th July 2021, 11:45

      So they’re absolutely 100% going to hit each other now.

      1. I love it! Made my day.

        Reply moderated
    3. This is always the goal. I mean if you don’t finish, you get nothing regardless of what happens lol. Unless the entire field dnfs before you do so..

      1. The only way Haas will score points…

    4. It’s important they don’t crash not because then they will end up at the back of the grid on Sunday but because Haas just doesn’t have the spare parts to fix two cars and can’t afford to look like any more of a joke than they already do this season.

      1. Yeah it seems they are better off to just skip the Sprint race. Heck, maybe they are better off skipping the Sunday race too. The Haas cars aren’t even racing they are just moving billboards occupying track space.

    5. yeah, let them wait to get their noses dirty til Sunday..

    6. Call me evil, but I hope the Sprint Qualifying Race has carnage on the level of the start of the 1998 Belgian GP. Teams cannot afford that much damage with cost-cap — some can hardly afford race-day damage costs, so if the Sprint Race is extremely expensive, the format should be abandoned.

      1. It should go down as the biggest failure ever in history.

      2. And on Sunday we would have a repeat of the 2005 USA GP but with rain! Huh! :) That would be hilarious!

      3. You’re evil. So am I. I really hope this is a dismal failure so we can move on from this Sprint race concept.

        I’m hoping Lewis gets DNF’d when Mazepin blocks him on lapping and Lewis and Mercedes decry the Sprint race as inappropriate for F1.

    7. It’ll be interesting if there is a crash near the start and we get a safety car for (say) 4 laps, then another at the restart resulting in another safety car for another 4 laps and then they really go nuts at the restart and we end up with a 3rd crash and an extended safety car while a fence is repaired that takes 15 minutes to get fixed.

      Could be the slowest sprint we’ve ever seen :)

    8. This is what is going to happen. Anyone who failed to qualify where they belong will take advantage of this extra chance, anyone else is going to go crazy at the start.

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