Combine testing with race weekends – Steiner

Jon Wilde
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner during pre-season testing

How the failed US F1 outfit led Guenther Steiner to Haas.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has suggested testing could be incorporated into some race weekends as a way of revamping the F1 format.

The notion was built into an answer from Steiner about two-day race weekends, a subject that is in vogue after Friday practice at the Eifel Grand Prix had to be cancelled and with the forthcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix taking place across Saturday and Sunday only.

Steiner not surprisingly said he was in favour of two-day race weekends having already praised his team for how they adapted at the Nurburgring when rain and mist caused FP1 and FP2 to be abandoned because the medical helicopter could not fly.

The 55-year-old Italian thinks that from a commercial standpoint there could be a benefit of combining test sessions with race weekends – although his theory that two-day events could mean “more races” may not go down too well with some of his rivals.

“In my own opinion, a two-day event works well,” said Steiner on the official Haas website.

“It allows us to get more races in, which in turn means more fans around the world could get the chance to see us.

“The cons, which I don’t know if they are cons…that’s for Formula 1 to look into, it’s for the promoters as a Friday gives more possibilities to get fans in. Financially it’s a good day for them.

“I don’t know all these things as I’m not involved in them, but on the sheer practical side of going racing I have nothing against two-day events.

“Maybe some events we go to we could put on a Thursday and Friday test – we can make something out like we do with pre-season testing and the broadcasting of that. These are just ideas, I don’t know if they make sense but maybe we should look into that.”

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Steiner said he enjoyed the buzz of having only one practice session before Eifel Grand Prix qualifying, albeit it turned out that the Friday at the Nurburgring was a wasted day.

“The biggest challenge was to wait out Friday not knowing what to do,” he said. “That was…I wouldn’t say challenging but it was boring, not well-invested time.

“I think we adapted well and it’s more like the old days of racing – you have to be a lot quicker in thinking what to do and making bolder decisions, hoping you don’t get them wrong.

“You don’t have that much time to look at data, you need to go a little bit by the seat of your pants. I think our guys did a good job on that one.”

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