Haas: 14th on Melbourne F1 grid was possible but for timing errors

Haas believes it could have qualified as high as 14th on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix if it had not made mistakes in its first qualifying session

Haas: 14th on Melbourne F1 grid was possible but for timing errors

Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean were both eliminated early in Q1, qualifying on the penultimate row of the grid ahead of only the Manor drivers.

But team principal Gunther Steiner believes Haas is more competitive than its showing on Saturday suggested.

"I'm not happy, but I'm happy because the car has potential," he said.

"To be on the second-last row is not fantastic but I'm still confident we can have a good shot to move forward.

"The car has got the speed, the balance, so I'm pretty positive about the future.

"We don't have to do anything [to the car], we just have to do a better job."

Steiner explained Haas got its strategy wrong in Q1, which was further hindered by both drivers struggling on their first flying laps.

"What we underestimated was the drivers' first laps on the new tyres," he added.

"Romain had a lock-up on the brakes, and then Esteban had another small problem, and a small issue.

"We should have called them in and aborted the second lap.

"We would have had enough time to re-prepare the car, we were just off 10 or 20 seconds and we would have moved on [to Q2].

"We can do it, we just need to not make little mistakes."

Steiner agreed with the paddock feeling that the new qualifying format was not a success, and he feels a change back to the previous format could help Haas.

"It didn't work, we learned that much," he said.

"It wasn't what it was supposed to be, so I hope we make changes pretty quick.

"With the format hopefully changing we [would] get a second chance [in Q1], because with this one we don't get a second chance.

"It's hard to make an argument not to change it at this point."

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