Guenther Steiner expressed how Turkey was confirmation that Haas have what it takes to tackle 2022 head on after Mick Schumacher proved his and the team’s worth with fantastic Q2 appearance.
It is known that 2021 has been a disaster for Haas and the nadir of the team’s short history but Saturday in Turkey was a bright spot for the American team with Schumacher extracting the maximum to reach Q2 and show what is possible when everything and everyone comes together with spirit and chemistry.
It was confirmation to team principal Steiner that despite not fighting anyone other than themselves all year, the team still have what it takes to be successful. “That was my personal best and greatest satisfaction to see how the team executed,” he said to media including FormulaRapida.net.
“We are ready for next year, we are fine, if the situation arises yeah we will make mistakes too, but there was a chance there and it was like working like I would say as they have worked together for 3-5 years.” Bonds have grown stronger at Haas where you get the impression, being such a small team, that they are a very close knit group, like a family.
“I mean Mick was very calm, his race engineer did a great job always staying calm, especially having a stand in for Nikita’s race engineer, so there was no chief race engineer there and they all did a great job,” added Steiner. “Everybody did what they needed to do, the mechanics, everybody just executed very good and that’s what made happy because as you said I am happy now, we are ready, if we have a better car, we are ready to get some points.”
Peace of mind you could say for Steiner and the team that they know they have it within to achieve. No chief race engineer meant people had to adapt and they did so successfully. “I was very happy for the team to be honest because they have been working hard all the time to get everything out and if I say it its difficult to understand why I say it because I see what they are doing and there is no result in the end and you know I almost feel bad about it.”
Haas fully deserved from the work the team have been doing all year to simply survive until 2022. A little bit of success or acknowledgment in the form of results can carry a team a very long way. But since a year like 2018, times have changed and expectations are different. “For me I am very happy for them because I know the effort they put into it and its just like you know maybe three years ago we were not happy if we didn’t make Q3, now we are happy to get out of Q1, it’s a different thing but the guys just a little bit of success carries them forwards and that’s why I was most happy,” said Steiner.
“To be honest we didn’t get lucky, we didn’t only get lucky, they did a good job. They did the things right and I just liked how they interacted as a team and everything was done good and it shows that you just have to keep on going, working hard and things will come to us,” summed up Steiner. Carries them forward indeed, a timely motivation boost as the F1 circus begins the long haul flyaways before the sun sets on the season.
Schumacher, meanwhile, has had a tough first year in F1 by all accounts, not being able to fight when you know you can must be difficult but through it all, there is a very talented driver, a Ferrari junior for a reason. Turkey was proof of that not just to us, but him as well. The 14th place didn’t work out in the race in the end, but he learnt a lot anyhow.
“I managed to really probably pull a good lap out of the hat, but I think it was never a concern from my side, really, that I was able to do that. I’ve done it in other categories and I didn’t really picture it being different in Formula 1, obviously knowing that it’s hard because it’s the top 20 in the world,” said Schumacher when asked if the performance showed the capabilities he has.
“But still I never doubted my capabilities.” Self believe can take your far in this sport and it’s clear that Schumacher has it. He did something similar in qualifying in Russia, but he went one step better in Turkey. “On that side I’m very happy that I managed now, on top, to really show and also beat the others that were in Q1 or out in Q1 basically,” he added.
“And I feel that the trend is still on a very good slope and still going high. I feel, with every time I go out, I’m more and more comfortable, and obviously, I think I managed to reach a very nice lap and I think really got the joy for it. Now I’m just looking forward to racing.”
Feeling comfortable in the car can make a driver so much happier and confident, you only have to look at the contrasting situations of Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren compared with Carlos Sainz at Ferrari and Fernando Alonso at Alpine who are maximising the potentials of their cars on a regular basis as opposed to Ricciardo who has struggled all season.
Schumacher is in good form at the moment, and he will be doing everything he can to continue that. Many forget that on that lap in Q2, the Haas driver encountered yellow flags so had he not, could he have gone even faster? Nevertheless, Turkey was true confirmation of the potential the young German possesses and Steiner agrees.
“Absolutely he was unlucky in the end but the whole weekend, he seems to be adapting pretty well to this race track and today he just pulled it off in the tricky conditions,” said Steiner. “Obviously, that makes it look like the potential is big, but this is one event and if you look at the whole year he was always pretty on it you know. So, I am happy with what he did and I think with his potential there is still more to come.”
Steiner, along with most, clearly concurs that Schumacher has the potential to be successful and come 2022 if Haas have a competitive car who knows what he could achieve. It will be the real test to see if he’s built to stay in F1 for the long term. However, Turkey will unlikely be eclipsed by the team in 2021 so although relatively speaking it isn’t a big achievement, for them it is and is tribute to the talent and hard work that’s been put in all year despite tough times.
The story was written by Ollie Pattas
Here’s Mick Schumacher on missing on race experience
Here’s Nikita Mazepin apologising to Lewis Hamilton