The 2019 was a F1 season to forget for Haas as their pre-season was promising -particularly off the back of an uber-successful 2018, in which they nearly secured fourth – but as time went on it became apparent that they have got off on the wrong foot.
They struggled to keep up with the pack- something which they first pinned on the tyres until the team realized that it was a correlation which was lacking. And, while Haas are disappointed with this, Steiner placed no blame on his drivers.
He feels that they extracted the maximum they could, and on some occasions, even tried too hard to bag a good result. “By no ways, I could attribute any of our not-so-good season to them,” said Steiner, when asked by FormulaRapida.net.
“Therefore we stayed with the same driver pairing [for 2020], because I think we need to be honest and say they couldn’t have done better with the car. You always do better when you don’t run into each other, but they just tried too hard at some stage.
“I don’t think I can jump to conclusions that they didn’t do a good job this year.” Steiner also echoed what Grosjean said some time ago, as he stated that one of Haas’ major mistakes was focussing too hard on the races, and not enough on the car’s general pace.
“I think for the drivers, it was as well an eye-opener, because at the beginning of the season the car looked good they were very positive about the car and then it didn’t pan out like it looked like [it would],” reflected the Haas boss.
“We ended up in a few situations where maybe tried too hard, as a team, as the drivers, everybody tried just too hard to force the result which wasn’t there because the car wasn’t there, instead of focusing on how can we get the car better.
“That’s maybe what we learned of this as well: focus on the right thing. Also in Barcelona when we had the upgrade, the drivers didn’t feel that confident of the behavior of the car, but the results were good. It was this strange feeling for us.
“It was like ‘do we go what the driver says is not good but the result is good?’ but we should have been a little more critical there with ourself. That was the reason why we stayed where we were because the drivers they were not negative.
“But they were not positive either, they were like, ‘it feels strange, but I can do the time. So, it’s a very difficult decision to make, we have to learn to trust the data more and say actually, so we should trust the data even if we are fast.”
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida, and edited by Darshan Chokhani]