Guenther Steiner says he didn’t like the 2020 F1 calendar, especially due to the reason for it to happen, as he adds on taking one step back in 2021.
After the cancellation of Australian GP, it looked like a strange situation for F1 in 2020, with regards to the calendar, especially due to the restrictions. However, they managed to play it well, with 17 races held – which included some double-headers.
There was a good mix of new and old F1 circuits, but Haas team principal Steiner didn’t like the reasoning for the change in calendar – hinting that he would have liked those to happen without the restrictions. He’s hoping for a normal calendar to return soon.
“To be honest, I didn’t like last year’s calendar, at least I didn’t like the reason why it came to be due to the pandemic,” said Steiner, when asked about the 2021 season likely to be ‘more normal’. “There was a little bit of excitement though visiting new places or going to places we hadn’t been in a long time. Now it appears to be more of a normal year, not completely though.
“Imola as the second race for example, normally that wouldn’t be there, but it came back last year. It’s good but hopefully the pandemic settles down or goes away completely soon and we go back to things being very normal. Normality, at the moment, is not being normal,” summed up Steiner.
While the races for 2021 F1 season has been set, but there is question mark still on multiple events due to the pandemic. Already from last year, Imola and Algarve, has made a comeback, with Australia shifting to November and China put on hold. As the calendar game plays out, Steiner is staring at another difficult year for Haas, considering the decision taken to take a step back.
The idea for them is to take two steps forward in 2022, which is a big gamble, considering that if it doesn’t work out, it could end Haas’ journey. “I think we’ve got a few things to keep us motivated through the year,” said Steiner. “We’ve got two young drivers that we need to develop, and we will develop over the year.
“That will come with some excitement, I’m sure of that. Then the light at the end of the tunnel is 2022 where we will be back at our full strength because we regrouped last year and we made a step back to make two forward. For sure, some things will be challenging – also personally to keep on pushing, but I think we can do this.
“In the end, it’s all in nine months, but it’s 23 races. We are prepared for it and we’ll get it done,” summed up Steiner, who added, that another goal for Haas is to help rookies Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin to be up to speed by 2022. The Italian also felt positive about the Ferrari engine being a little more powerful than 2020.
“For us it’s very difficult to have a back-to-back with the power unit from last year,” said Steiner. “But I fully trust Ferrari in what they are saying to us as well as what they’re doing. We can see on their car that it’s better. For us, our testing was mainly focused on getting the two rookies as many laps as possible.
“We couldn’t really do back-to-back as Mick, for example, was only in last year’s car for one full day after Abu Dhabi, and Nikita only drove a Haas F1 car for the first time on our shakedown in Bahrain this year. I fully trust in Ferrari and I’m sure that the power unit is more powerful.”
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