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Haas hoping for "a point or two" in 2021

NEWS STORY
22/03/2021

Whatever way you look at it, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin look set for a nightmare debut season.

The VF-20 was a dog of a car, while the under-powered Ferrari engine hardly helped matters. Consequently, other than the mandatory aero changes this season, the VF-21 is the same beast that Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen struggled with.

In pre-season testing it was clear that everyone's worst fears were going to be realised, while the fact that there will be no updates as the team focusses on 2022 merely adds to the general feeling of despondency.

Indeed, asked, looking ahead to the season finale in December what he would consider a decent year for the team, it comes as no surprise that team boss, Guenther Steiner sets the bar remarkably low at a time everyone - bar Mercedes - is talking up their chances.

"I would hope that our two drivers have learned as much as possible and maybe even more than that in order to get ready for next year," says the Italian.

"If we can get a point or two at some stage, that would be a fantastic result," he adds. "But we are realistic, and points will be hard to come by.

"As long as we learn, we improve, and can get back to where we were in the past... I'm happy.

"It's going to be a hard climb this season, but we will get something good out of it, we always do."

Asked if the performance of the Ferrari power unit during testing was encouraging, he says: "For us it's very difficult to have a back-to-back with the power unit from last year. But I fully trust Ferrari in what they are saying to us as well as what they're doing. We can see on their car that it's better.

"For us, our testing was mainly focused on getting the two rookies as many laps as possible. We couldn't really do back-to-back as Mick, for example, was only in last year's car for one full day after Abu Dhabi, and Nikita only drove a Haas F1 car for the first time on our shakedown in Bahrain this year.

"I fully trust in Ferrari and I'm sure that the power unit is more powerful."

However, the Italian insists that it is not all doom and gloom.

"I think we've got a few things to keep us motivated through the year," he says. "We've got two young drivers that we need to develop, and we will develop over the year. That will come with some excitement, I'm sure of that.

"Then the light at the end of the tunnel is 2022 where we will be back at our full strength because we regrouped last year and we made a step back to make two forward."

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1. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 22/03/2021 20:13

"The problem with taking one step back in order to take 2 steps forward, is that for one, that's a net one step forward. For another, while you're mucking about dancing like an awkward teen boy who's never been so close to a pretty girl before, the rest of the teams are taking 2 or 3 steps forward. So you're still falling behind. Taking one step back to take 4 steps forward would be worthwhile, so long as everyone else isn't going to take 5.

That said, on some level it makes a bit of sense on why they brought in Schumacher at least. He gets a year of basically getting to test drive an F1 car and develop his craft in the car. A year where mistakes are of little consequence. And if he impresses suitably a bigger team may well snap him up."

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2. Posted by Wokingchap, 22/03/2021 11:28

"Seems like a very logical statement to me, apart from 'i fully
trust what ferrari are saying to us'...... i thought he was smarter than that but i wish them loads of good luck for this season
"

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