Although no longer under pressure just to “get by”, Guenther Steiner says there is new pressure on Haas this season, and that’s to improve on last year’s form.
Haas finished in the wooden spoon spot last season, the only team not to score a single World Championship point.
While the result may have been worse than the team had expected, it was done with the intention of building for this season.
Haas’ entire focus in 2021 was on this year’s championship, designing a car under the all-new regulations that could compete in the midfield, and preparing its then-rookie drivers for the year ahead.
Steiner aptly said of 2021 that it was a year of “treading water” as the team stayed afloat, dreaming of 2022.
Now there is a different pressure on Haas.
“There is always pressure, because wherever we are we will not be winning the World Championship this year, so there is pressure because we are not number one,” the Italian explained to Racer.
“There is always pressure, but it’s a pressure where you can actually work on it and do something about it, whereas last year the pressure was to keep everybody calm and to get by.
“There is obviously more pressure because we were so bad last year – and we explained it a million times why we were so bad – and now we need to show that we are actually not this bad, so there is pressure to deliver on that.
“Even if we are wherever we are, you can fix it. But last year we knew we were not going to develop anything.
“This year, if we go to Spain and we are not fully satisfied but we know we have got something cooking maybe in the wind tunnel that we can get better. You are actually working on something to make it better, you are not just treading water.”
Launching the new era of Formula 1 cars 🙌
Proudly presenting the #VF22 #HaasF1 #FWD2022 pic.twitter.com/JvK9YoJjbb
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) February 4, 2022
Haas was the first team to kick off this year’s launch season, unveiling their tweaked livery on renderings of a show car.
The team has yet to officially show off their 2022 challenger, keeping their cards – and Ferrari’s given that Haas use the Ferrari suspension – close to their chest.
The team boss says Haas must do a “good job” this season, adding that the entire team is excited for the season ahead.
“It’s like a complete different scenario to last year,” he said. “Last year was, ‘how can we get by?’. We went to the test trying to believe in a miracle, but you know the miracle will not be coming.
“Now it’s basically in our own hands. We need to do a good job, it’s just to manage things that actually take you forward, whereas last year we just did things to get by.
“It’s a little bit like the coronavirus, you know? We do a lot of work just to get by, but in a normal year you always make progress with a company or with anything.
“It’s just being in a different place. I mean, there are challenges left, right and centre, and there are always challenges in F1, but that is one of the reasons why we are all here.
“It’s good to say ‘OK I see positive things happening’. If there is an issue with something, we sort it and we make progress. It’s nice, it’s positive, the whole approach is a different approach.
“I’ve absolutely seen it in the team, because everybody just sees there is an opportunity now, whereas last year there was no opportunity. The opportunity was to go to a race and to get by, now it’s an opportunity (to) be good again.”
Haas will continue with Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin this season.
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