No surprises for Haas in difficult 2021

Mick Schumacher

The opening half of the 2021 Formula 1 season has offered no great surprises for Haas team boss Guenther Steiner.

A tough season was predicted for the Banbury-based squad which made the bold decision not to develop its car throughout the season.

Instead, its efforts have been focused on the 2022 regulation change in an effort to get a jumpstart on the competition.

It has made for a baptism of fire for the team’s two rookie drivers, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

Last year’s Haas VF-20 proved a handful, with experienced duo Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen managing just three points all season.

With that car having carried over with next to no change, the 2021 campaign has therefore unfolded exactly as Steiner predicted.

“It is going as expected,” he said.

“I told last year that this is what will happen, we will have a transitional year, that is what we are having.

“We end up where we end up in the races, which is always frustrating for us, but we need to see this through and learn off it and get back stronger.

“It’s not how you go down, but it’s how you come back, so that is what we will be doing.

“But all in all, as expected, no big surprises.

“We just keep on working hard to be back stronger next year.”

Haas is the only team on the grid without a world championship point in 2021 following the Hungarian Grand Prix, in which Williams managed to get both its cars inside the top 10.

Schumacher was provisionally classified 12th in that event (pending Aston Martin’s appeal against Sebastian Vettel’s exclusion), his best result of the season.

That followed a crash in Free Practice 3 which inflicted enough damage on his car that he was a scratching for qualifying.

Across the garage, Mazepin was an early retirement when Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo was released into his path in the pit lane, breaking his steering.

The 2021 Formula 1 season continues at the Belgian Grand Prix on August 27-29.

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