Guenther Steiner believes Haas are suffering as a result of “lost opportunities” to score points – with the Spanish Grand Prix a prime example.
Haas have improved their competitiveness hugely compared to last year and even 2020, being right in the thick of the midfield battle as had been the case in their first four seasons in the sport from 2016-19.
Kevin Magnussen, on his return to the team and F1, collected 15 points across the opening four races of this campaign to give Haas a very bright start to the new era of regulations.
But in the last two grands prix, the American-owned outfit have squandered big chances to increase their total – firstly through Mick Schumacher, who crashed into Sebastian Vettel in Miami when looking set to finally open his Formula 1 points account at the 27th attempt.
Then at Barcelona, both Haas cars reached Q3 and made promising getaways off the line, only for Magnussen to hit Lewis Hamilton on lap one and ruin his own race, while Schumacher thought a two-stop strategy, rather than three, had not worked for him as he tumbled down the order to finish 14th.
Guenther summarizes a tough Sunday for the team at the #SpanishGP 🇪🇸#HaasF1 pic.twitter.com/52VWpFPRjE
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) May 22, 2022
“It gets to you a little bit because they are lost opportunities,” team principal Steiner told Motorsport.com after a Spanish Grand Prix in which Haas had been the only team not to upgrade their car.
“The car seems to be on a good pace because we qualified eighth and 10th, so we need to get points at some stage.
“Missed opportunities, a little bit unlucky in some places with the Safety Car, and obviously then it gets into frustration.
“It’s not all bad for us – it’s just like we need to have a little bit of sunshine on a Sunday.”
Steiner explained how he had seen Magnussen’s race unfold from the pit wall after that early collision with Hamilton, the Dane veering into the gravel and then having to make a stop.
“It’s a big frustration that we ended up where we were after Turn 4,” said the Italian. “I think Lewis just understeered a little bit and understeered into him, and that was it.
“The strategy we tried obviously didn’t work out, but we had nothing to lose. We tried to do something which wasn’t there, but it wouldn’t have made the difference anyway.
“He came out a lot later than Lewis because he had to drive back slower. Then he did a one-stop strategy. It was two stops, but the first was after one lap. We tried to put him on the hard tyres to see what happens and that didn’t work out.
“Obviously Lewis came back and made up time and we didn’t.”
Steiner also conceded the team realised they had got Schumacher’s strategy wrong.
“It was too late,” he said. “I think even with a three-stop it would have been difficult to get into the points, but for sure there would have been more chances.”
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