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Haas drivers face long wait for upgrades

NEWS STORY
19/05/2022

While the majority of teams are expected to introduce upgrades this weekend, Guenther Steiner admits that Haas won't be making any significant changes until the summer.

This weekend sees the teams return to where it all began back in late February, Barcelona, where the look of 2022 first took to the track in pre-season testing, and where the effects of porpoising were seen for the first time.

Three months later the teams return with various updates to their cars, among them Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin and Mercedes.

Alfa Romeo's package includes a new front wing and floor which have produced good results in the wind tunnel, while Aston Martin has a bigger package available.

Mercedes also has a number of new parts, including a new floor, which the German team is understood to have tried at a filming day at Paul Ricard earlier in the week.

With Alpine understood to be introducing a new rear wing, one team that won't be featuring any new components is Haas, which is waiting until the French Grand Prix in late July before introducing an upgrade.

"I have no idea about what updates other people are bringing, if I would know that, I would be a smart guy," team boss Guenther Steiner told reporters as the Spanish Grand Prix weekend got underway.

Asked about his own team's plans, he replied: "We know exactly, we made a plan, why we do this, so we just go along with our plan, and don't jump on what other people do, and react to it.

"It covers everything," he continued, "you will see when we bring the upgrade, it's everywhere, we will make a nice package.

"I wouldn't say everywhere," he quickly added, "that's exaggerated, but quite a big one, it's not just a turning vane or something like this. It's quite that a few changes, it's substantial... I think for France."

Of course, the budget cap is having an impact on what sort of upgrades teams can introduce and when they can introduce them, though this is hardly likely to affect the likes of Haas which has nowhere near the budget of the main title contenders.

However, like Ferrari, the American team clearly prefers to introduce its upgrades slowly, making the most of its package as opposed to constantly updating the car.

"I think we shouldn't have pain, otherwise we should have brought the upgrade earlier," said Steiner. "As I said before, it was a conscious decision to do this. So I think we can get enough out of what we have got.

"Again, I have to repeat, I don't know what the other ones are bringing. There are big announcements of big upgrades, but I don't know how good they are. But it's not only the upgrades, you also understand the car better, you just make improvements.

"This year, it's difficult to say with the bouncing," he continued, "because with the bouncing, if you have bouncing, you're really slow. And then if you sort that one out, you go really fast. But that doesn't mean that it's an upgrade. It's maybe only in your set-up that you can get rid of the bouncing."

Keen to make clear his team's financial situation, he admitted: "It's the budget... it's not the budget cap, it's the budget!"

Check out our Thursday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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