Haas wants 2018-like pre-season gain for its 2019 F1 campaign
Haas F1's Guenther Steiner is hoping for a repeat of what they did in the 2017/18 winter as they prepare for the 2019 F1 season.
Haas surprised many with their pace in the 2018 pre-season test when many were taken aback by it, so much so that they were uncertain if it was genuine - most wanted to wait until the season started to see the actual competitiveness of the car.
With their performance in Australia where they qualified well into Q3 with both the cars and ran inside the Top 5 in the race until the pit disaster, it was certain that the car had the pace to challenge the midfield teams at least.
It was already an achievement for the American team, who are to start their fourth season in 2019. When asked by me/FormulaRapida.net if Haas can maintain the competitiveness amid the growing challenge from others, Steiner believed so.
While acknowledging their rivals, the Italian felt confident in Haas' abilities as well. One of the key area where they think of gaining is the winter period - which is what they did in 2017/18. "I think everybody will get better but we will do as well," he started.
"We just need to do a good job like we did last year over the winter and bring again a good car. There’s no secret. Everybody will be trying to get that [P4] position - last year if someone would have told you guys that Haas is going to finish fifth, nobody would have believed it and would have asked how are they going to do it?
"I don’t know how but you just do your best and if nobody does a better job then you are up but I cannot influence how the others are doing their job. I don't have knowledge about it, if somebody else does just a little bit more, they will be in front.
"And we will have to live with that and then just try to get them again and do a better job again. It’s a development race here. I am confident that we will have a good car [in 2019] but again last year I didn’t see the other cars, so we don’t how the other numbers are.
"We are happy with what we see [so far] and what we [can] do but if somebody found something with the new regulation that we aren’t aware of, how can I know that." The team did well overall in 2018 to register its best constructor result of fifth place.
It nearly got fourth from Renault but the might of the manufacturer and some mistakes from Haas' end, including the disqualification of Romain Grosjean from Italian GP was enough to help the French outfit to stay ahead of the American team.
The 2019 season could be a lot closer with the likes of McLaren, Sauber and Racing Point trying to get in the fight as well. Haas will certainly like to reap the benefit of having the same driver line-up of Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen with only Mercedes being the other to retain its drivers with all the rest of the team changing one or both.
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]