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Haas "learned in 2019" not to rush F1 upgrades

Haas says it will not fall into the trap of rushing through upgrades for its 2022 Formula 1 car just for the sake of trying new things.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22

As the American-owned outfit bids to build on its strong start to the season, it knows that rivals will be working hard to bring developments to their own cars.

But team boss Gunther Steiner thinks that there is a lot more scope to extract speed out of the current package, and says it is important that any developments brought to the car do bring a sizeable benefit.

"We will bring updates as well, but I always feel like upgrades are overrated," said Steiner.

"People like to hear that you are bringing upgrades, but if you bring upgrades for one, two or three [downforce] points, the part looks different, but what does it actually do? That is important for me.

"If you ask an aerodynamicist, they will bring to every grand prix a million dollars worth of upgrades for one point. But that needs to be managed on a budget cap more than anything else.

"I'm not saying that nobody brings good ones, but I think they're a little bit overrated sometimes.

"I want to stay calm this year, intentionally. Not because we haven't got money, but because I want to get the package together.

"We need to see if it brings a certain amount of points that we can measure, and if we make progress and we don't change the balance of the car, then introduce it.

"But not just running around like we need upgrades left, right and centre. Let's focus on the car, understanding it and get the best out of what we've got."

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Steiner says he and his team found out the hard way in 2019 how much effort can be wasted on upgrades, when the team abandoned all its updates towards the end of the campaign to revert to the package it had the started the season with because it was better.

"We learned that in 2019, when we continued to bring upgrades and we ended up the last race with the package of the first race," he said.

"Normally I get things wrong once. The second time I try not to do the same mistake."

Haas is current fifth in the constructors' standings after Kevin Magnussen's points-scoring drives in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Based on the pace the car has shown, Steiner is convinced the team can regularly fight at the front end of the chasing pack behind Ferrari and Red Bull.

"Obviously, there's always things to improve but Kevin has said the car is really nice to drive," explained Steiner. "It's so competitive and he feels he can challenge all the time.

"So the car is pretty good. Then it's down to having a good weekend, finding the right setup and getting the best out of it. If you get the best out of it, I would say we are in the front end of the midfield."

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