Braced for a “tough year” this year, Haas boss, Guenther Steiner admits that focus on the 2022 contender will be “99%” by the end of February.
Despite the obvious bad feeling towards him, certainly on social media, one has to have some sympathy for Nikita Mazepin ahead of his rookie season in F1, likewise his illustrious teammate, Mick Schumacher.
Due to the ongoing travel restrictions the ‘new’ car won’t have its engine fired-up until the eve of pre-season testing, while the team has already admitted that there will be no – or precious little – development of the car over the course of the season.
While this is mostly a question of money, with the rules overhaul coming next year the team has opted to focus on next season and a hoped-for – and much needed – step forward.
Indeed, head of chassis engineering, Simone Resta, who has been seconded by Ferrari to the American outfit, though previously focussing on the changes required by this year’s rule tweaks, will be “99%” focussed on the 2022 car by the end of this month.
“He’s spent the first few weeks getting himself accustomed with what we’re doing,” team boss, Guenther Steiner tells the official F1 website. “He has got involved in this year’s car, there were some design changes because of the regulation changes, but now, 80% of his time is focused on 22, and by end of February it will be 99% focused on 22.”
In the short term, the outspoken Italian admits that 2021 is likely to be another difficult season for the team.
“We are preparing to be better, but I don’t know what the reality will be,” he says. “We know it could be tough, but we will manage it.
“That’s one of reasons we took two rookie drivers,” he adds, “this is a transition year and we plan for better days in 2022.
“We are bracing ourselves for a tough year,” her admits. “You always work to get best out of it that you can, but you also need to be realistic and not dream that all of a sudden everything will be good.
“We struggled last year and the car is basically the same so why would it be a lot better? I don’t think the others will make big mistakes going forward as they have good packages to take forward.”
“We know our performance may not be the best one but there is a lot of work going on. It’s more like being back to 2015 this year because we took such a big step backwards last year, we have to make two forwards. And that’s what we’re doing.”