Guenther Steiner makes alarming admission over heavily upgraded Haas

Sam Cooper
Kevin Magnussen at the United States Grand Prix

Haas have struggled so far in Austin.

Guenther Steiner bemoaned Haas’ sprint performance after bringing major upgrades to the car but ultimately ones that had “not done what we expected.”

With a long-talked about upgrade package finally being installed to the car, many thought Haas would show improved performance at their home race in Austin and yet, both drivers appeared to struggle.

Nico Hulkenberg qualified 16th in the sprint only to finish 15th while Kevin Magnussen dropped one place from his P17 starting spot.

Team boss Steiner admitted the upgrade package had not worked how they expected it to.

“It didn’t go to plan today,” he said. “We’ve got more work to do but initially we’re not very happy with what’s happened, so we have to see how we tackle tomorrow.

“We found a few things and went in the wrong direction, but it’s difficult to jump to a conclusion after one practice, two qualifying sessions and one short race. But at the moment, we have to find more as the upgrade’s not done what we expected.”

Hulkenberg was a little more optimistic, suggesting it looks worse on paper than it actually is.

“It feels like the first real running with the car to be honest because in practice there’s so many things going on.

“Then, there were just two qualifying sessions which were also short, just two runs each time, or less. It’s good to get some proper mileage with it, some long-run data and some feel for it.

“Obviously, it doesn’t look too good right now, but there’s more for us to analyse and understand, and more to discover with this package. At a sprint weekend it’s difficult to explore that and unlock it.”

Magnussen admitted “it wasn’t a great sprint” ahead of his P14 start on Sunday.

“It wasn’t a great sprint, the pace dropped off a lot, so we’ll investigate tonight and assess what we think. We can’t change anything for tomorrow, so it is what it is, and we’ll see what we can do.

“I got a decent start and a decent first lap, then stayed there for a few laps before the well-known cycle of getting overtaken and the tires dropping off started.”