Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022

Haas can be “at the front of the midfield” with 2022 car – Steiner

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In the round-up: Günther Steiner says Kevin Magnussen’s pace shows Haas only needs a good week to score a big result.

In brief

Haas car is ‘just doing what drivers want it to’ – Steiner

Magnussen’s ninth-place finish on a less than ideal weekend for Haas in Jeddah shows they can lead the midfield this year, says Steiner.

“Kevin didn’t drive an F1 car for a year, comes here, has never driven here, has a miserable Friday we did three timed laps. Then he goes out there and does this time in qualifying and couldn’t do a better lap because of his neck. And in the race he said ‘the car is just doing what I want it to do’.

“Obviously, there’s always things to improve. But he said it’s really nice to drive if you’re so competitive, he said ‘I can challenge all the time.’ So the car is pretty good and then it’s down to having a good week and finding the right set-up and getting the best out of it.

“If we get the best out of it, I would say we are at the front end of the midfield.”

Formula E to use same Monaco layout as Formula 1

Formula E switched to a longer Monaco layout last year
Following last year’s move to use the whole Monaco grand prix track configuration, with some minor alterations to the nouvelle chicane, Formula E has confirmed that it will run the Monaco Eprix on the full grand prix circuit with no modifications this year.

Javier Maffioli, Formula E head of event operations at the FIA, said: “Using the full Monaco track layout successfully last year was a major step forward for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“This year, we are taking the final step, removing the minor modifications that were made for Formula E, so that we can to see our drivers and cars performing on the historical layout. This is another major achievement for our discipline and we look forward to another exciting race on the streets of Monaco.”

Mercedes were waiting for McLaren cue for Hamilton pit window

Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin says the team was watching to see when McLaren pitted its drivers’ to prompt them calling in Lewis Hamilton during the first stages of the race at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

“The situation was that the hard tyres were holding up very well, they were very consistent and what we were watching at this point was where the McLarens were, that pit stop gap behind us,” Shovlin explained. “So, the intention with Lewis was to try and pull them out of the window and we were slowly doing that.

“I think the lap that we would have stopped at would have been somewhere in that 39 to 40 region but the intention was always to try and clear those McLarens, then we would have been racing with Valtteri [Bottas] and the two Alpine cars. Our prediction said that we had enough pace to pass them on track and that would have enabled Lewis to get up to P6 in the final standings.”

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Comment of the day

As the question about whether DRS should still be part of Formula 1 in 2022 rolls on, Dr Mouse says that, ultimately, we won’t be able to see whether drivers could make passes without it until it’s suspended.

Slipstream isn’t needed as much if the cars can be very close by the braking zone anyway, and I think we’ve seen they can from the starts and restarts, before DRS is enabled, in the past 2 races. That leaves the option of outbraking your opponent into the corner very much on the table, as well as staying behind for several laps to put pressure on them. Of course, the weak point here is probably the tyres, but it would be interesting to experiment with vastly reduced or no DRS zones.

While ever DRS is available, I don’t think we will see whether the cars can race without, though. Why go for the difficult outbraking manoeuvre or close racing and pressure when you can use DRS?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Yuri Kofman and Shortstick1!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born on this day in 1956: Kevin Cogan, a winner in IndyCar racing who made two unsuccessful attempts to qualify in F1 with RAM and Tyrrell in the early eighties

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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24 comments on “Haas can be “at the front of the midfield” with 2022 car – Steiner”

  1. COTD: DRS is also factored into setting up the cars. I can tell Red Bull may have setup their car with high top speed because of the three drs zones in Saudi. In qualifying, you can go for thick and more angled wings as DRS compensates the time loss on the straights. Remember when Mclaren in 2011 (I was super young at that time), ran big wings to get close to Red Bull in qualifying, but come raceday, most of the time, they struggled. Removing DRS will definitely force teams to think more about car setup.

    Shocking that Germany does not have a race and is home to successful active figures of the sport (Vettel and Mercedes). We already have races in all continents except Africa, and there are fans in Africa. I hope that this sport does not start to focus on the audience in the USA because it looks like, ever since last year, that it has started to do so.

  2. I’d have less of an issue with the US having 3 races if the extra 2 circuits were as good or better than COTA.

    We have so many good/great circuits that aren’t be used & countries with a rich Motorsport history (Such as Germany, South Africa & Argentina) that don’t have an F1 race & I’d just rather see F1 go to those countries & return to those circuits than add a 3rd race in the US on yet another street circuit.

    1. Not only that @stefmeister but there are plenty of great permanent circuits in the US that could be used without building another street track.

    2. This is something Joe Saward talked about yesterday on the Mixed Apex podcast. Suggesting France may alternate with Germany, as for the foreseeable future Germany can paint itself orange. South Africa looking promising, and a South American venue once the host nation can tick all the boxes. The last two would replace European rounds.

      1. Lewisham Milton
        31st March 2022, 23:13

        Got the podcast name wrong, why should we bother reading any further? SA & Col a long way off.

  3. Maybe they can disable DRS in a sprint race and we can find out.

    1. That, sir, is a brilliant idea.

    2. COTD right there ;)

  4. Good to see that Haas has delivered a car that is far more competitive. Their move to focus on this years car last year appears to have paid off.

    Just hoping they have enough budget to not get swallowed up as the season progresses.

  5. It’s great to see Kevin is relatively competitive on his return, hopefully Haas can thrown a lifeline if they remain competitive.

    This may be ominous for Mick though, I think last year he was lucky to get in a team with a bad car, an uncompetitive teammate and very little expectations, but having Kevin unexpectedly turn up and get pleasing results, that is going to hurt his image.

    Hopefully Haas can jump up and score a consistently in 5th – 8th and it’d be great if they can get sneaky podium or in a crazy race a win.

  6. That tweet really annoyed me. America is big so it deserves 3 races? Please… What an egocentric point of view…

    1. What a short-sighted view to dismiss the concept.

      F1 – as a business and industry – is about selling itself and it’s marketing space to as many people as possible.
      It doesn’t matter if those consumers are from a large country with many smaller states (such as the USA) – or from many small, neighbouring European countries (or effectively ‘states’ within the EU)…

      You live in Europe, I assume, @fer-no65?

      1. I’m Argentinean. The closest F1 circuit we have is 2500 kms away in Sao Paulo. And the next one is in Mexico… or maybe it’s better to fly to Spain.

        Does that answer your question? it’s not about the size of the country, it’s about holding as many races as possible in different cultures. The fact that Europe is small (and America is huge) isn’t an argument for anything…

        1. My assumption was off. Serves me right.
          We are in a similar position, @fer-no65. My nearest F1 event (which hasn’t run for 2 years) is 1000km away, with the next nearest being 5500km away, and then 8000km – neither of which ran in those years either.
          Just for comparison – within that same 1000km distance, someone who lives in southern Germany could get to 9 GP’s.

          Regardless – F1 isn’t about reaching different cultures, its about making the most money possible.
          Much like the Middle East, America has lots of money – and much like Europe, they have a lot of people who would pay to watch a local F1 event.

          Then there’s Africa, who have neither the money or the demand for their own event….

          1. Forgot about Imola – the second event in Italy…
            So that lucky German has 10 F1 events to choose from within 1000km.

      2. It’s about the number of fans and how much they can bring to the sport (which mostly means money). Why would land mass matter? Does the Sahara deserve a race so all that sand gets to watch a race? Of course not.

  7. @fer-no65 Understandable but that is also why there is no races in Africa.

  8. someone or something
    31st March 2022, 8:36

    Dear Nate Saunders, no one I know is annoyed with how many races America has, but the inflation of races in the USA, a country whose viewership figures are on F2 level if you’re being generous, has many rolling their eyes.

    Or has he gone full ‘Murican and equated America with the USA, and taken a look at a world map for the first time in 20 years to make an extremely weak point about that country named Africa?
    I didn’t realise how little I needed his opinion, well now I know.

  9. Nate Saunders’ tweet is spot on. People complain about one country having three races, but come on, it’s a country the size of a continent. There’s less physical distance between Spa and Zandvoort than between any of the US races, not to mention the two races Italy gets.

  10. Good thing for Haas. This has rarely been the case for a while.

    Not pitting when the chance existed before the x marks arrived on the relevant light panel was still wrong in hindsight.

    Nate Saunders’ tweet is interesting, but the US is only a single country rather than a continent, even if similar-sized by area.

    The Guardian article is interesting & has valid points, although I don’t necessarily share the same view entirely.

    Experimenting without DRS might be good for Red Bull Ring & Interlagos Sprints, but not really for others.
    I’m sure DRS zones will get reduced towards eventually getting axed altogether over time.

    1. Yes, I would like to use the sprint races to try it out without DRS as well.
      Although, to hold sprint races at the same venues as in previous seasons, seems to be not an extensive test of what could sprint races provide. Seems impractical, and risk minimizing at best. How they want(ed) more sprints, if they only dare to hold sprints where even the previous cars provided some ok racing? (And never testing at other venues :))

      I would hold a non-championship race for some serious prize money without DRS, or use the sprint races to test it without DRS. Maybe at Germany? Or Portimao. Or at some other famous track.

  11. Steiner reckons Mick wants to drive into the walls.

  12. It’s typical American culture to thing that North America/USA are interchangeable terms. Money talks, that is all.

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