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Barcelona F1 Pre-season Test [2]: Steiner: Reliable Haas can surprise rivals

Despite a troubled second pre-season test, Haas F1 principal Gunther Steiner is confident that the team can be in the mix at the Austalian Grand Prix.

Haas F1 team principal Gunther Steiner is optimistic that the US-based squad can cause an upset on its grand prix debut later this month - provided it keeps on top of the gremlins that infiltrated the last few days of pre-season testing.

Haas' preparations were somewhat turned on their head in the second group test at the Circuit de Catalunya, with the final four days more problematic than the first quartet a week ago. A brake-by-wire issue on the penultimate day was the latest headache to overcome, and affected the make-up of the final sessions, but Steiner is confident that the engineers are on top of that problem - and showing themselves to be quite adept at tackling others that crop up.

"We had a good [final] day and came out, again, with our heads up," the Italian insisted, "The last three days were pretty difficult, but today was a good day. Even yesterday was a good day - we learned a lot and analysed a problem and the guys fixed it overnight. We came out this morning and could go running again, and we know now that, in Australia, this problem will not come up.

"Yes, we had a few challenging days, but that was to be expected with a new team. Two weeks ago, we were not even a team, so the guys did a fantastic job and worked very hard. I'm proud of them."

With confidence restored in the VF-16 after both the braking issue - which saw the car go off twice on day three - turbo woes and the front wing failure which marred the opening test, Steiner sees no reason not to have at least a smidgen of optimism heading into round one at Albert Park.

"[We're] as ready as you can be!" he smiled, "I don't know what is waiting behind the corner [sic] and, yes, I think we would have liked to run more on Monday and Tuesday, but we couldn't and you can never make [the time] up. We did the best that we could the last two days and I think we are as ready as we could get in the moment.

"I think, as we've always said, we will be in the lower midfield. If we are reliable in Australia, maybe we can surprise. It's a tough three days in Australia but we are confident we can go home with our heads up."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
Guenther Steiner (ITA) Haas F1 Team Prinicipal. 25.02.2016.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16. 03.03.2016.
Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team [credit: Haas F1 Team]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16 leads Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Manor Racing goup photo, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Jordan King (GBR) Manor Racing, Test Driver and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver and Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director

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March 05, 2016 8:28 PM

They will need some decent pace to finish in the points in Australia. Based on the number of laps all of the teams successfully completed during testing, I doubt we will see the attrition we saw last year. The cars may have some testing issues but overall, they ran significantly more laps, trouble free, than last year.


March 05, 2016 8:14 PM

Not so sure that 'reliable' is the word I would use to describe their form in testing over the past few days, but at least they're seeing problems early and able to fix them. Let's hope that they can keep improving and be able to shake up the midfield this year. God knows THAT'S where all the good races will take place!

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