Ralf Schumacher points the finger at Guenther Steiner for Haas’ point-less run

Michelle Foster
Nico Hulkenberg pulls in for a pit stop. Hungary July 2023

Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg pulls in for a pit stop. Hungary July 2023

Walking away from yet another grand prix without a point on the board, Ralf Schumacher says it would be good for Haas if team boss Guenther Steiner made the “same demands on himself” as he does on others.

Haas last scored points at the Miami Grand Prix and that’s despite Nico Hulkenberg qualifying inside the top 10 in four of the six races since.

His latest qualifying effort put him 10th on the Hungaroring grid but come the end of the 70-lap race he was down in 14th place with his team-mate Kevin Magnussen P17.

Ralf Schumacher: You can’t blame everything on the fact that it’s a small team

It’s been the story of Haas’ season with the drivers, led by Hulkenberg, putting in decent qualifying sessions only for the team to be unable to carry through on that in the grand prix. Schumacher, who is not Steiner’s biggest fan after Mick Schumacher’s troubled second season with Haas, blames the team boss.

“It’s clear,” he told Sky Deutschland, “the car was good last year and nothing has happened since. It would just be good if the team boss made the same demands on himself and on the team as he makes on others.

“One thing is clear the drivers, especially one driver, do a great job in qualifying and the car just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do.

“You can’t blame everything on the fact that it’s a small team – after all, you’re in Formula 1 and you want to improve. There’s great potential there.”

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As for Hulkenberg, the driver concedes not being able to match his qualifying performances in the grands prix has become “very frustrating” of late.

“If I’m honest, it went according to our expectations,” he said after his latest point-less Sunday. “Of course, it was the tyre degradation that felt pretty high.

“It’s very frustrating as a driver, but you do what you can. As soon as we start pushing, the car starts to slide and we destroy our tyres.”

But the German, who is expected to re-sign with Haas for next year’s championship, says the team can draw inspiration from McLaren’s recent surge with Lando Norris bagging three top 10s in a row, two of which have been podium finishes in his upgrades MCL60.

“We need a story like McLaren, they did it,” Hulkenberg told Sky F1. “At the beginning of the season in Saudi Arabia they were still behind us and then they completely turned it around. They actually brought a B car. That’s pretty impressive and has to be our role model.”

Haas are seventh in the Constructors’ Championship with 11 points, nine for Hulkenberg and two for Magnussen.

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