Steiner explains Haas pace despite lack of F1 upgrades at Spanish GP

Haas Formula 1 team principal Gunther Steiner has explained why his team was able to shine in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying despite not applying any upgrades like most of its midfield rivals.

Steiner explains Haas pace despite lack of F1 upgrades at Spanish GP

Kevin Magnussen qualified eighth in Barcelona less than a tenth behind Valtteri Bottas, whose Alfa Romeo team had brought a whole slew of upgrades to the Spanish round.

Team-mate Mick Schumacher also made the Q3 shootout – for the first time in his career – qualifying 10th behind Magnussen and McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo.

Afterwards, Bottas expressed his confusion on how quick Haas was at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as one of the few teams without updates.

"I think without the upgrades we would have not been seventh today," he said. "The only thing that is confusing is that Haas haven't had any updates, and they're still like... sometimes there, so I don't quite get it!"

When Autosport requested Steiner to help the Finn out by revealing Haas' pace mystery, he explained the decision not to bring upgrades to a well-known track like Barcelona actually helped the team further understand the baseline it has, which will then allow it to add the right upgrades to it in subsequent races.

He suggested that with upgrades his team might have even been slower than without.

"There's many people out there with upgrades and it's almost a critique that we didn't. Can you imagine if we had an upgrade? We would be on pole!" he joked.

"I always said we need to find the sweet spot of this car. You bring upgrades to Barcelona because you know the race track but I was thinking, okay, you know the race track so it's a good time to get the best out of this car.

"If you come to a race track like Miami, Jeddah, that you don't really know your way around, you don't have that much data, you just try to find something for that race track. While here you can look a bit deeper into the car, and that is what we did.

"If we had put on updates, we wouldn't have understood them and maybe we would have even been slower instead of faster. So we use this to get the best out of this car, so that next race hopefully we can keep that base and then we will bring updates."

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

A key factor behind Haas' decision to focus on fine-tuning its existing configuration was the team's lack of consistency in the first five races, ranging from a stunning fifth place for Magnussen in Bahrain's opening round to being nowhere a few weeks later in Australia.

"For me, it was like we haven't understood this car, because if you look close our performance goes too up and down, and the car doesn't go quicker and slower from race track to track to race track. And that's why we just needed to understand the base well and it worked, I think.

"As you say, everybody has made updates and we moved closer to everybody in front, you know, and I think with Bottas if Kevin didn't have the issues with the DRS, he would have been very close, if not in front.

"We knew there was more to come from our car and hopefully we learned enough that the next races we can keep at that level. It will not be always the same, but at least we upped the game for ourselves without upgrades."

Read Also:

After qualifying both Magnussen and Schumacher were summoned by the stewards for driving unnecessarily slowly on the out-laps, exceeding the minimum drive time between the first and second safety car line.

The practice was so common that the FIA chalked up 55 violations by 18 drivers and explicitly reminded teams during the session that backing other drivers up coming out of the pitlane was prohibited.

The Haas drivers were deemed to be the worst offenders and received an official warning, no other drivers were summoned.

shares
comments

Related video

Alonso to start Spanish GP from back of grid after taking new F1 power unit
Previous article

Alonso to start Spanish GP from back of grid after taking new F1 power unit

Next article

Alonso clears air with FIA president Ben Sulayem after criticism

Alonso clears air with FIA president Ben Sulayem after criticism
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022