Steiner: Points possible for Haas in every race

Nico Hulkenberg scored his first points for Haas in Melbourne

Nico Hulkenberg scored his first points for Haas in Melbourne

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has suggested points are possible at every round of the 2023 F1 season despite a “car [that] isn’t perfect.”

Nico Hulkenberg picked up six points in Australia for seventh position, a result which left Steiner happy but frustrated.

Haas protested the result of the race in Melbourne, arguing the correct order was not used for the final restart.

That was not successful, nor was a latter Right of Review application by Ferrari, confirming Hulkenberg’s first points of the year.

Haas sits just one point behind Alpine in the constructors’ championship, and two back from Alpine in a midfield pack that sees six teams covered by 11 points.

With two points-paying results in the opening three races, the same is the target this weekend in Azerbaijan.

Whether that’s realistic is another matter, with Steiner aware that a strong result isn’t solely dependent on his team’s own performance.

“It’s difficult to say because it’s not only our form,” he explained.

“I think our car isn’t perfect but I don’t know where the rest of the cars are perfect this year.

“I let myself be surprised when we go out in first practice and see what we can do, but this year it could be possible that our car scores points in every race.

“That’s the aim anyway so let’s hope after 2017, 2023 is the year that we score points in Baku.”

This weekend’s event brings with it a revised format with a separate qualifying session for Saturday’s Sprint.

It replaces a Free Practice 2 that had come in for criticisms given, on a Sprint weekend, that cars enter parc ferme on Friday evening.

The new format sees a 60-minute practice session on Friday followed by the traditional three-part qualifying session for Sunday’s race.

Saturday is dedicated entirely to the Sprint, with a condensed three-part session determining the grid for the 100km race later in the day.

“I definitely prefer the new set-up because Saturday morning practice is pretty pointless as you couldn’t change anything on the car, you just went out there, did laps and tried to understand the tyres – I don’t think that’s very interesting for the fans,” Steiner said.

“A second qualifying is a lot better for the fans and also for us as it gives you excitement.

“We’ve got a lot of things going on at the weekend, two qualifying sessions and two races, and I think that’s great for the sport.”

Opening practice in Azerbaijan begins at 13:30 local time (19:30 AEST) on Friday.

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]