German Grand Prix – Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says there isn’t really a Formula 1 midfield in 2018 as the team aim for P4 in the Championship.
Haas currently lie P5 in the Constructor’s Championship, coming off the back of points finishes in all three races of the triple header of France, Austria & Britain. Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race at Hockenheim in Germany, Steiner says that the idea of a traditional F1 midfield doesn’t apply to 2018. This is due to the constant ebb and flow of form for different teams at different circuit types.
“all the other teams in Formula One are very good teams – there is nobody who is uncompetitive.” said Steiner.
“There is not really a midfield anymore. It’s just the rest. There’s the top-three and then the rest. Everybody from fourth to 10th can be competing for points this year, as we’ve all seen. Now, being fifth, it’s nice to be there. After testing it was realistic to think we could be there, but we were very conscious that it would be hard work, and it is hard work, actually.”
Haas’ weakness appears to be in slow, twisty sections – Monaco was a disaster for the team as they struggled to find any pace or balance. Steiner admits this is a worry for Hockenheim, due to the slower stadium section: “We are a little bit worried about the tight sector of Hockenheim, as it’s very slow. Then again, we will work on it to do our best. For sure, the car is more competitive on high-speed corners. It’s actually very competitive on high-speed corners. We’ve had some issues on the slow-speed tracks. Let’s see what we can do on Friday to set the car up to get over our deficiencies on the low-speed portions. Maybe we’ll find a little bit of speed there and still be competitive.”
Despite the competitiveness of Haas this year, Romain Grosjean has scored just one points finish for the team. This has been due to a combination of incidents and accidents, while Kevin Magnussen has kept his nose clean to score almost all of the team’s points. Steiner says that the team aren’t satisfied with how many points opportunities have been thrown away, and that P4 in the Championship remains a possibility, but only if both drivers are racking up the scores:
“I think with the potential of the car we have shown over the last three races, it is possible to aim for fourth. If we achieve it or not, that’s a different question. I don’t want to be arrogant and say we will finish fourth, because by no means is it a given. We are competing with three very strong teams for this position. We will try, we will give it our best and, hopefully, we end up fourth. We could have had a lot more points, and we missed out on them. We need to make sure that we are not keeping on missing points, because these are the points we will miss at the end to finish fourth.”