Haas team principal Guenther Steiner acknowledged that Kevin Magnussen back at the team “showed what was possible” in Bahrain.
He backed that claim by adding that it would have been “very difficult” to achieve the same result with Nikita Mazepin alongside Mick Schumacher, given Magnussen’s experience with the team.
Schumacher out-shone Mazepin throughout 2021 before the Russian had his contract terminated prior to the start of the season.
Magnussen was quickly drafted back in to replace him at Haas, and placed his car inside the top 10 in qualifying before taking a sterling fifth placed finish last Sunday.
Steiner said recently that the Dane now provides a reference that will help Schumacher progress in his career, having out-paced the young German throughout their first weekend as team-mates.
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The team boss said it was an unknown as to whether Mazepin would have achieved the same highs as Magnussen, but admitted it wouldn’t have been easy.
“Who knows,” Steiner said to reporters when asked if Haas would lie P3 in the Constructors’ Championship with their previous line-up, per GPFans.
“For sure, bringing Kevin back showed what was possible. I think it would have been very difficult if Nikita and Mick [Schumacher] had been in the team.”
There’s no question that Haas have been one of the stories of 2022 so far with their resurgence up the field, having sacrificed their development through the whole of 2021 to focus solely on hitting the ground running with the VF-22 – which has had the desired effect.
Schumacher even hinted at his hope of challenging for podiums at some point this season, such has been the improvement of the team’s speed from year to year.
The team principal was keen to keep a lid on the rising expectations surrounding them however, despite having been labelled as potential backmarkers once again for 2022.
“It’s about what we can do, and we will do our best,” Steiner said. “Whatever comes out of it, we’ll do.
“I’m not on the wave of expectation. That’s for other people, and I think before the first race they expected us to be last.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of interest because of the result. Nobody expected what we did, but there’s no madness. We didn’t win a race… yet!”
Haas would have struggled for Bahrain result with Mazepin
Guenther Steiner has admitted that Haas would have struggled for their Bahrain result if Nikita Mazepin was still in the team.