Guenther Steiner issues warning: Haas’ post-July slump ‘no longer acceptable’

Jon Wilde
Alex Albon's Williams just ahead of Kevin Magnussen's Haas. Melbourne April 2022.

Alex Albon's Williams just ahead of Kevin Magnussen's Haas during the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne April 2022.

Guenther Steiner believes Haas are still feeling the effects of the previous two seasons as their slump down the standings continues.

Haas started the campaign superbly with four points-scoring contributions – including sprint qualifying – in the first four race weekends and another decent spell at the mid-summer British and Austrian Grands Prix.

But since then it has been slim pickings and, now out of touch with Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin, the American team are in real danger of being overtaken for ninth position at the last two races by AlphaTauri, who are keeping their tally ticking over more consistently.

Still, 36 points is a respectable total for a team who notched up 28 in 2019 but a paltry three in 2020 and none at all last year, when they eschewed any development on their car to focus entirely on looking ahead to this season.

According to Steiner, there is a knock-on effect from those past two challenging years – not that it excuses the drop-off in results, especially with it being something that has happened to Haas in the past, notably in 2019.

“Sometimes we were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said the team principal about Haas’ 2022 season, quoted by “I put it down to the last two difficult years – you can’t go from the level we were at in the last two years to the best in one go.

“We are going through a bad patch at the moment but we have to stabilise at some point. This situation is no longer acceptable.

“For us, this year is like a second start because we didn’t do any development last year, we were racing where we were racing and the competition wasn’t huge. As I always say, the higher you go, the more the air gets thin, the harder it is for the drivers, for the team, for everybody.”

Although it looks as though Mick Schumacher might be released by Haas for next year in favour of Nico Hulkenberg as Kevin Magnussen’s team-mate, Steiner insisted he did not see the need for wholesale changes.

“I look at the bright side,” added the Italian. “It’s frustrating but I’m not negative about our performance, it’s just a bit frustrating. We can’t expect to suddenly go from where we were last year to where everyone expects us to be. I think we can do better.

“I think we just need to think about how to approach things a bit more thoroughly. I don’t think we need to make a lot of changes in personnel or anything.

“At the moment, it’s more about getting the confidence back to perform at this level all the time. But these are things you learn.

“The most important thing is not to make the same mistake a second time. That’s always the most important thing for me.

“You can make a mistake once, you fix it. The second time is no good. The third time, in my opinion, you are a fool. I hope we don’t find any more mistakes to make.”

Read more: Helmut Marko believes it’s a done deal: Mick Schumacher out, Nico Hulkenberg in