Steiner: Team happy with two-day weekends

Date published: November 11 2020

Haas

Guenther Steiner says the Haas staff are happy to handle the increased pressure of two-day race weekends due to the extra day off they get.

The format was tried out at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola as the sport consider using it on a more regular basis next season.

It received a somewhat mixed reaction, with McLaren’s Andreas Seidl praising it and Otmar Szafnauer not a big fan.

Haas team principal Steiner agrees with the former, saying that, for his team, the extra day off makes it worth doing.

“I think it was a very good experiment,” he said.

“Sporting-wise it works, we just need to see now how it works commercially – well F1 needs to see if it can be made to work commercially if promoters are happy to have two-day events instead of three.

“Sporting-wise there was no downside to it, as always, we were ready for it. I would say there was a little bit more work for the engineers – a bit more pressure. For the rest of the team, specifically the mechanics, they just had a lot of pressure in a shorter time.

“They can live with it happily as it took out one day of their weekend away from home, especially if we go to a 23-race event calendar in the future.”

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The 23-race calendar Steiner mentioned has now been confirmed, making it the busiest F1 season ever by quite some way.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he doesn’t see the plans as set in stone yet but takes encouragement from how the 2020 campaign has panned out.

“As always with these things, they’re much more difficult when there are unknowns. I think the good thing is we have proven, even in a very difficult year like this one, that we were able to get a calendar together,” the Italian added.

“Yes, it wasn’t more than 20 races, but it’s 17 and it’s been a good season anyway. It’s not as bad as it looks like to speak with partners and suppliers.

“There’s always a little bit of guesswork in it, and who guesses better has got the advantage. Experience helps a lot here, but I would say, due to a very successful 2020, it’s not been made so difficult to plan and speak with people for 2021.”

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