Haas: Sunday F1 test would be a fairer solution after freight delay

Haas Formula 1 boss Gunther Steiner believes allowing the team to test on Sunday morning would have been a “fairer” solution after facing opposition from rivals over plans.

Haas: Sunday F1 test would be a fairer solution after freight delay

A technical issue with a plane in Turkey that was bringing Haas’s freight to Bahrain for the second test meant its cargo did not arrive until Tuesday evening.

It forced Haas to miss the opening morning of running in Bahrain on Thursday. The Haas VF-22 car only got out on-track yesterday afternoon, leaving the team on the back foot.

The team asked if it would be able to complete an extra half-day of running in Bahrain on Sunday to make up for the lost time, only for a handful of teams to reject the plan.

Haas will instead have to make up for the four hours lost on Thursday by doing extra running on both Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, Kevin Magnussen will complete one additional hour after the end of the official session at 7pm. He will then complete another hour through the lunch break on Saturday, before Mick Schumacher then does two extra hours at the end of the day.

But Haas F1 chief Steiner was unhappy the team had “lost a morning and now we get bits and pieces”, believing it was unfair it had to complete the majority of additional running on top of the current schedule.

“We never asked to have a night session or anything like this, we just asked for Sunday morning, which would make up for the Thursday morning we lost,” Steiner said.

“The time I think would have been a much fairer and better solution for everybody. Now some people complain that we can run at night and others cannot, because the race is at night.

“We will get by, as we always do. I don’t want to be here and cry, because I don’t cry. But I think some people should think before they make comments about fairness.”

Steiner believes the deal agreed with other teams to make up for its lost running is unfair

Steiner believes the deal agreed with other teams to make up for its lost running is unfair

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

This came after McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said the solution offered to Haas was “absolutely fair” and would be a precedent for future delays.

“We supported that to help Haas, to give them these hours back that they lost,” Seidl said.

“It’s a fair solution. It’s important in those situations that you apply common sense and that you find solutions that can be applied consistently in other cases as well if similar things would happen.”

It is understood that McLaren was the team which put forward the proposal for Haas to extend running on the existing test days. The regulations do not permit pre-season testing to be any longer than three consecutive days, nor for teams to run alone, leading to concerns that allowing Haas to test on Sunday could open the door for advantage to be taken of the allowance in future.

Seidl felt it would have been “unreasonable” to give Haas the extra day.

“We have very limited testing, we have only six days,” he said. “If you grant an additional test day, you have another night as well to work on the car and the data and so on and gain an advantage.

“That’s the compromise where we ended up, which has been supported by all the teams. I think that’s more than fair.”

Alpine F1 chief Otmar Szafnauer said the team was “supportive of Haas doing what they’re doing now”, while Red Bull’s Christian Horner called it “a totally sensible solution”. Horner also suggested that such matters should only be dealt with by the FIA and not have team involvement.

Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas VF-22

Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas VF-22

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

As well as feeling the team had been compromised by the change in on-track running arrangements, Steiner also noted that the Haas crew had been forced to work longer hours as a result of the delay.

“Some of the guys worked 30 hours to make it happen, that we could get to the track at least yesterday afternoon,” Steiner said.

“Now these guys, they’ve got longer hours to work, because if you test 11 hours on one day, it’s different when you need to prepare your cars, and then on Saturday night, we have two hours [more], so two hours less to prepare the parts to send back to the UK.”

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