Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner has defined why the staff opted to go together with expertise over youth and exchange Mick Schumacher with Nico Hulkenberg for the 2023 season.
The American staff bounced again from a scoreless displaying in 2021 to notch 37 factors in 2022 and end eighth within the standings with Kevin Magnussen having taken 25 factors and his first career pole position in a sterling comeback to Grand Prix racing, after a yr spent competing within the US. Meanwhile Schumacher struggled in his second F1 season however he did handle to take factors at Silverstone and in Austria.
Next season, Haas will discipline ex-Force India and Renault racer Hulkenberg – who stepped in for Covid-hit Sebastian Vettel for the opening two races of 2022 – alongside Magnussen, with Schumacher having pushed his final race for the staff within the season finale at Abu Dhabi. Team boss Steiner defined why Haas have opted to make the change.
“We are the youngest staff and the final two years we misplaced just a little little bit of our momentum when the pandemic got here, and so forth,” he said. “So it’s [a question of] how can we carry the staff again the place we wish it like in’18 and perhaps even ’19, which was higher than the final two years? You know, Mick did an excellent job, however we would have liked to hold him, and we’d like someone to hold us just a little bit.
“We waited a long time, because it wasn’t clear, the decision… The market went our way – nobody really picked [Hulkenberg] up – so we waited a little bit longer than you do normally. But I think this is the best we can do for the team to move up again where we want to be.”
Looking ahead to 2023, Steiner stated his squad are in place to ship on the step they made this season after a troublesome, transitional yr that noticed them end final in 2021.
“If you assume what we did from final yr to this yr, once we made an excellent step. It was not steady, we’re up and down on a regular basis, however I feel that’s if you evaluate the place we have been to once more combating with the massive boys.
“If I feel again in ’21 once we restarted after ’20 the place we actually shut down the corporate and actually slowed down on every part, I tasked Simone Resta… ‘Build our technical team up again’. You cannot do that in two months, but he did a fantastic job, got people back in [so we had] the same level of staffing and we really started to develop only end of April – we developed, but not full steam, so I think this year, we are more on a normal path, we had a full technical team in place for next year’s automobile, so hopefully we will make the following step.
“Hopefully in the wind tunnel, we make the gains we wanted to make, our targets, we fulfil them, so I hope the other ones do not do a better job than us. I need to hope; I think we’re doing a better job than last year, but I don’t know. If the others do a very good job, we’re behind, but I think I’m pretty confident, or cautiously confident, that we’ll make the next step,” stated the Haas boss.