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British GP: Preview - Haas

NEWS STORY
28/06/2022

Haas F1 Team's 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season will continue with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit.

Silverstone is where the journey began for the Formula 1 World Championship, when the converted wartime airfield on the Northamptonshire/Buckinghamshire border hosted the inaugural event on May 13, 1950. Formula 1's British Grand Prix has been on the calendar every season and since 1987 it has been held at Silverstone. The majority of the layout remains traceable to the version initially utilized in 1950, though the circuit has evolved to keep pace with modern standards.

Silverstone is renowned for its fast and flowing layout that provides a stiff test for teams and drivers. Phenomenally fast turns such as Abbey, Copse and the Maggotts/Becketts complex require inch-perfect driving while these high-energy corners also place an extreme stress on tires, particularly the front-left on a clockwise layout. Silverstone has been the scene of countless iconic moments throughout Formula 1 history, with shock moments, surprise victors and scintillating side-by-side racing. The traditional British summer can also have an influence on proceedings and provide opportunities.

Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher have both racked up substantial experience at Silverstone. Magnussen has participated in seven Formula 1 events at Silverstone, recording a high of seventh in 2014, while Schumacher made his British Grand Prix debut in 2021 following previous visits in Formula 2 and Formula 3.

One positive from the Canadian Grand Prix weekend was that on Saturday during qualifying, the car exceeded expectations with Mick and Kevin clearly having confidence in the VF-22 to equal the teams' best-ever qualifying result. What did you make of the performance?
Guenther Steiner: "Saturday was a fantastic day for the whole team as everything was executed well - it's never perfection until you're P1 and P2 - but for where we are, to have the best qualifying result after quite a few difficult weekends, is very good. It was executed by the whole team - drivers, engineers, mechanics - fantastically. It was a very good day."

Does the team understand why the VF-22 performs so well in wet conditions - as we've seen a couple of times this season already, notably at Imola and Montreal?
GS: "I would say the car in general is pretty good. Where we struggle most is on high-speed circuits, low-downforce and when it rains, even on a high-speed circuit, it's not as important as when it's dry. I think we just executed it well. The car goes pretty well, and we've got two good drivers, so I don't think we have any big secret about the car going quick in the wet."

We head to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix next, a fan-favorite on the calendar. It marks the home event for many team members and will be the first time the Haas 'Family Day' has been held since 2019, where drivers can spend time with the team and their families away from track. How important is it to you to host such events given the hectic non-stop nature of the Formula 1 calendar and the demands placed on team personnel?
GS: "It's very good that once again we can do our family event. We haven't had anything since COVID hit in 2020. We were planning our Christmas event but last year we had to cancel it at very short notice because there was a surge in cases in December 2021, so I'm very happy that we can finally have the families around with the team just to enjoy a good time. It is very important because a lot of the team is travelling a lot and it's good that the whole company can show their family what they're doing and why they're working so hard and why they're not always at home like a lot of parents who come home after an 8-5 day. I really look forward to seeing all the family members as there is a record attendance planned."

We're set for four races in July ahead of the mandatory FIA summer-break in August. Is it beneficial to have that intensity of racing to keep both the drivers and the team focused ahead of the break?
GS: "It's not about keeping the focus but because we have 22 events, we need to get them in at some stage and I think having them bunched up before the break is better than after the break. It will be pretty intense but hopefully we'll get some good results so hopefully the intensity won't be as bad as when you have not-so-good results. I'm sure the team will be tired after the four but then we have a few weeks to recharge our batteries."

Round 10 takes many of the Haas F1 Team home for the British Grand Prix, held around the historic Silverstone circuit. It's an event steeped in history, so what does it feel like for you to return to what many fondly refer to as the home of motorsport?
Kevin Magnussen: "It feels good. It's the home race of Formula 1 in many ways, it's a very traditional race and it's an awesome track as well. The circuit is of course a classic so it's always great to go there and I'm looking forward to it again."

Take us through a lap of the Silverstone circuit and can you predict how these new Formula 1 cars will behave around high-speed corners like Maggotts, Becketts and Abbey?
KM: "These cars are a little bit slower but it's still going to be fast. They're stiff so kerb riding at Maggotts and Becketts might be a little bit different. That's going to make it more challenging I would say, as the cars are stiff and very low to the ground, but Silverstone is still going to be a great circuit to drive."

The British Grand Prix kicks off a run of four races in the month of July - how hard is that going to be on drivers and team personnel, and do you have one eye on the summer shutdown at this stage of the season?
KM: "It's going to be a hard month for the team - especially the mechanics. For drivers, it's a walk in the park so it's not something that I'm dreading at all, I'm actually looking forward to it. If you have a bad race, you go straight into the next one and also because they're in Europe, it just feels so much easier. You can travel to the race on Thursday morning and for a lot of people they're home on Sunday night. It feels easier than having two races in Asia in one month let's say."

Round 10 takes many of the Haas F1 Team home for the British Grand Prix, held around the historic Silverstone circuit. It's an event steeped in history, so what does it feel like for you to return to what many fondly refer to as the home of motorsport?
Mick Schumacher: "It's great for the team as it also marks the week where all their families come to visit which is something I'm looking forward to as we didn't get the chance last year because of COVID. I will get to meet every single family which is going to be nice. Silverstone has some good and bad memories for me but it always treated me well so I'm excited to go there and it marks the start of all the European races that are coming, which is nice as it means we all have a bit more time without so many flyaways."

With it being one of Haas F1 team's many 'home races', it brings about a lot more activities - including partner commitments, filming days and the return to the team's annual 'family day' - the first since COVID. With all of these extras, does the British Grand Prix feel different to other races, and what's it like to meet the families of those who you get to work so closely with over the season?
MS: "I don't think it will feel like a different type of race weekend but it means it's a different set-up to a race weekend. It doesn't change the fact that we're racing or the approach that I take, but it means that I get to meet some great people and their families so I'm looking forward to it."

Take us through a lap of the Silverstone circuit and can you predict how these new Formula 1 cars will behave around high-speed corners like Maggotts, Becketts and Abbey?
MS: "These new cars are known for getting an increase in downforce, the quicker they go so that means usually that the quicker corners should behave a bit differently compared to last year. Therefore, that section with Maggotts and Becketts I'm sure will be quite fascinating to drive in these new cars. If it will be quicker, I don't know just because of the added weight of these cars, but nonetheless I'm sure it's going to be fun and the bouncing and porpoising won't be as effective as in Baku."

The British Grand Prix kicks off a run of four races in the month of July - how hard is that going to be on drivers and team personnel, and do you have one eye on the summer shutdown at this stage of the season?
MS: "It will definitely be very tough. We know anyway how tough a race weekend is and that just means we're going to have a lot of them. For the team and everybody it's consuming, so it's a matter of putting in those moments of extra effort when necessary but also shut off if that helps so you don't run out of energy, because it's a long season to go. Also, in July we have some other cool events lined-up including the SVAG CS Classic reigning show at my family's ranch in Givrins."

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