Haas will enjoy the dream of P3 before likely slip

Date published: March 22 2022 - Jamie Woodhouse

George Russell racing Kevin Magnussen. Bahrain March 2022

Haas principal Guenther Steiner is not currently interested in explaining their P5 finish in Bahrain, he wants to live the dream.

The American outfit had been on an alarming decline over the past few seasons, with 2021 proving to be rock bottom as Haas finished the season without a point, while it was a rare occurrence for them to mix it up with any of the midfield runners ahead.

A poor 2021 was fully expected, since Haas had put all of their focus into 2022, seeing the new regulations as their opportunity to move back up the order.

The ideal scenario was to be fighting for some points again, so Haas were in dreamland when Kevin Magnussen qualified P7 for the first race in Bahrain, turning that into a P5 finish, helped by a double retirement for Red Bull, as he marked his return to racing with Haas in style.

One round in to the likely 23-race season, Haas find themselves sitting P3 in the Constructors’ Championship, behind Ferrari and Mercedes.

So, can they retain that spot and finish the season there? Sadly, Steiner does not “think that will stay for long”, so his team are going to “enjoy the dream”.

Speaking of dreams, Steiner is still living in one surrounding that Bahrain result, explained that the entire team did not put a foot wrong.

“I don’t want to understand it, I want to live the dream,” Steiner told reporters in Bahrain following the result.

“[Kevin] knew that he had a good car. We saw that [in qualifying]. But then you still need to deliver.

“The longest stint we did up to now was 18 laps in a row. So now to do 57 was quite an achievement, and we didn’t put our foot wrong, nothing – the team didn’t do anything wrong. Everything was well prepared.

“Also the qualifying, you are fighting on a difficult position, but everybody did their job and made the right decisions at the right time. So it was a very good weekend.

“The last two years, we had to get by – now we are back.

“So for sure it’s special, because everybody had lost the trust in a very short period of time.

“I mean in ’18, to finish fifth and feel good, then in ’19 with the bad car, people lost completely the trust. [They said] the team is for sale, the team is whatever. We’re still here and we are back now.”

 

If Haas moving forward are to keep hold of their lofty position at the head of the midfield, then a key rival could well be Ferrari’s other customer team Alfa Romeo, who also looked strong in Bahrain, with Valtteri Bottas qualifying and finishing P6.

Steiner is wary of the threat posed by Alfa Romeo and the chasing pack, but with upgrades planned during the season, he is confident that Haas can keep scoring points.

“Alfa Romeo is very strong as well, so I don’t take it easy now that we are where we are,” Steiner confirmed.

“We need to work out and keep on improving the car. Also, with upgrades later on in the year. That is what we are doing.

“But I’m pretty sure that we’ll keep on scoring points.”