Guenther Steiner believes having an experienced campaigner alongside Mick Schumacher in Kevin Magnussen will provide a helpful reference for the young German, in his second season in Formula 1.
Schumacher comfortably had the beating of Nikita Mazepin at Haas throughout their rookie season, but the Russian’s removal from the team paved the way for Magnussen to make a return to the grid for 2022.
He got off to a flying start as well, scoring Haas’ first points since the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix and taking a superb P5 finish in Bahrain, getting straight back into his rhythm behind the wheel.
Schumacher was spun around by Esteban Ocon at the start of the race as he looked to break into the top 10 himself, but looked to be the slower of the two Haas drivers all weekend.
But now he’s facing a driver with considerable knowledge and speed, Haas the team principal thinks this will be of benefit to the 23-year-old.
“Definitely. A reference is very helpful,” Steiner said, per Motorsport-Total. “If someone does a lap two, three tenths faster and you look at that data, you might find one or two tenths in there, the braking points, the line and so on. So that will help him a lot.”
After the high of their excellent season-opening weekend, Haas and the rest of the grid move on to Saudi Arabia, where they hope to continue their bright start.
But even though the teams will be working at speed to bring upgrades to their cars, Steiner can’t see the pecking order changing too much until the cars head back to Europe.
He also backed Schumacher to have a better weekend, after a tricky time of things in Bahrain.
“I think we saw the speed of the cars and they will be similar until the upgrades kick in, but we still have to wait for a few more races, including street circuits, to know where everybody is at – Red Bull didn’t finish the last race but they will in future,” Steiner said.
“Our drivers, from where we came to where we ended up was pretty good. Mick struggled a little bit more last weekend – in qualifying with his fastest lap having a little mistake and then in the race he got compromised by Ocon, who ran into the back of him, and he spun.
“That’s never good because you then have to clean up your tyres again and you just fall back, but he will make this up in the next races.”
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