Haas updates will be for lap time, not ‘publicity’

Michelle Foster
Kevin Magnussen, Lewis Hamilton and Mick Schumacher battle. Spielberg July 2022

Reiterating that Haas will be “careful” updating their VF-22, Guenther Steiner sees no reason to throw bits on the car for “publicity”.

Haas are the only team yet to upgrade their 2022 challenger, the team racing the same car that was on track for the final day of pre-season testing in March.

But you would not have thought so given their recent results.

Back-to-back double points hauls at the Austrian and British Grands Prix have seen the team climb to seventh in the Constructors’ Championship with 34 points, seven ahead of AlphaTauri.

Haas, though, will not be holding off on the updates for much longer.

The first batch – which some reports claim will also be the only round of updates – will be introduced at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“That’s the aim,” Steiner told GPFans. “Hopefully we will get what we expect from them.

“I’m always careful with upgrades whatever we do, so I won’t say how much we will go faster.

“But if we go faster that will help, and hopefully we can fight even harder.”

The Italian says Haas learned lessons in 2019 when upgrades they put on the car took them down the wrong path, resulting in the team bagging only one top-10 showing in the second half of the championship.

“It’s hard to create experience but we had it in 2019 and we learned,” said Steiner. “We have learned this year.”

As such, Haas are now more circumspect.

“Everybody brought upgrades in Barcelona and we still finished sixth and eighth [in Austria] and we didn’t have any upgrades,” he added.

“So it’s a lot of publicity with these upgrades at times. I really want to show it’s not publicity but it’s lap time.”

As for the team’s P7 in the standings, Steiner says the first goal is holding on to the position, the next is taking P6 from Alfa Romeo.

“We cannot say we will stay there,” he said. “You need to try to improve to make sure you at least stay where you are. You need to aim high.

“Who would have thought? We were nine points behind [going into the race at the Red Bull Ring] and now we are seven points ahead of eighth.

“We will obviously try to get as many points as possible at every race and go as high as possible, but we will not say we will stay where we are and cruise around in seventh.”

 

No reason why Haas can't challenge higher up

After their remarkable turnaround from last season's displays, if Haas can improve their car, could they challenge McLaren and Alpine?