Nico Hulkenberg, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023

Haas are “back to being a normal team again” says Steiner

2023 F1 season

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says that his team are finally back to being a “normal” team in terms of their car development plans for the 2023 season.

Haas effectively sacrificed their 2021 season, choosing to forgo all development on their car for that season to prioritise design of their 2022 car and the new technical regulations. After finishing last in the constructors’ championship that season with no points, Haas scored points in the first race of 2022 and eventually claimed eighth place in the standings by the end of the year.

Despite benefiting from focusing on development of their 2022 car, Haas only had limited upgrades throughout the season, with only one major package introduced before the summer break. Steiner says the team have the capacity to bring regular updates to their VF-23 this year.

“As I say to my guys now, whatever happens here, how we perform, we are now back to being a normal team – whatever ‘normal’ means – because we just keep on developing,” Steiner explained to media including RaceFans.

“In 2021 obviously there was no development, so we cannot even begin to talk. I think they did a very good job in 2021 to get the 2022 car out, but everything was done in a hurry and we had to fix a lot of problems. While this year, they are now growing together as a team and they work much better.

“So this year, it’s normal like any other team. If we are not where we are, [it’s] ‘where is our problem? What do we need to develop? Let’s get on with it’. We have got the budget cap, so we can do it.

“Going into the future, I think we will find a little bit later in the season – not late in the season, but in the middle of the season – where we want to get [to], where our weaknesses are after the start of the season and then to address it. Whether we need to make the team stronger and how are we going to do that.”

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While Steiner says that the team plan to introduce new parts to their car throughout the season, the team will only commit to manufacturing the parts if they are convinced they will provide a material boost to performance.

“Upgrades are coming all over the season,” he said. “We’ve got a good plan in place.

“I don’t say exactly when it is coming, because if you do development and they don’t give you what you target, you are not going to produce the upgrades because that’s a waste of money. We wait until the results. But there are multiple updates coming through the whole season.

“We have got dates in place but if we don’t hit the performance targets in the wind tunnel, we [will] not come out with the parts at the time because why would you make a different path if it doesn’t give you a performance upgrade? Then you just drain money out of your budget cap.”

Steiner projects that the first major upgrade package for the VF-23 should arrive around the Spanish Grand Prix, round eight of the season, in early June.

“At the moment, something is planned for Barcelona, but we are working on that and we need to see if we make the right progress, performance-wise, in the wind tunnel before we put it in production,” he said. “They are on the way and if it goes to plan and we hit the targets, the first upgrades will be coming.”

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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13 comments on “Haas are “back to being a normal team again” says Steiner”

  1. Günther has no reference for what a normal team would even look like.

    He might currently be cosplaying one, but that doesn’t mean he or any of his subordinates won’t blow the lid of that fiction at the tiniest of opportunities.

  2. Haas will never be a normal team as long as Gunther Steiner stays. It will always remain a pathetic, unserious, toxic clown show.

    1. Exactly. I have been saying that for the last 4 years.
      Gunther may be a Netflix “star” but he has always been a pathetic team manager.

    2. Wow, what has Gunther done to you. Of all the teams on the grid, depite their limited in house setup (which is improving) they and him especially the most enjoyable to listen. They take what comes their way and get onto the next race.

  3. Does anyone know if Mr. Mazepin got his money back?

  4. tasty words salad Mr Steiner. What the heck are you trying to say?

    1. They have a bit more money to play with from the moneygram deal, and they can plan updates for the car this year like a normal F1 team. Seems clear to me.

  5. Maybe Steiner should hire engineers and designers like every ‘normal’ team does. They’re always going to be this hack of a team that doesn’t really know what they’re doing, headed by a team principal who just cusses at his employees, provides comic relief for Netflix, and endures the wrath of his boss.

    1. They are doing more of their own stuff this year than they used to, and no doubt will do more in years to come. As for the cussing, please, you no doubt think toto and christian are genuin as after all they win most and don’t curse at all. After all that would not be too good for their image. I say gunther is real deal, leave him and haas be.

  6. He must be enjoying the spotlight of being the most colorful team principal.

    What’s even the point in saying stuff like this? It’s not like they scored any points at the first race, yet he’s talking like “now we can fight”.

    1. Indeed, and as far as I saw hulkenberg made mistakes similar to schumacher; let’s just say in any case, once he gets used to it, he might be better than both schumacher and hulkenberg but it’s not an exciting line up, they’re both average drivers at best.

      1. The driver line up is the best they can manage. Average drivers in a below average team.

  7. Reading between the lines, it appears Steiner was unhappy taking on young ‘talent’ to pay the bills. He may have been bullied into taking on Schumacher, which is why all that resentment came tumbling out of him once Ferrari dropped him like a hot potato. Mick has next to no talent, Mazepin would have to borrow talent to even pretend he had any. So the team was in a dire position. At least now they are back in comfortable territory having 2 drivers that can steer the direction and don’t need hand holding.

    After a couple of years where Mazepin Sr was yapping on his ear, then Mick’s entourage yapping at him, you can see the frustration mounting in Steiner, who is clearly a weak man to begin with. Now he has Netflix notoriety, his ego is out of reality, the team might do better under real leadership.

    It’s a shame a team like this can’t bring in and foster real talent, as real talent might get them a few fluke drives and bonus points for ambitious moves. Although last year had a great weekend for at least one race for them.

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