Haas energised by Jeddah point as Steiner discusses extremely close midfield

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says Saudi Arabian Grand Prix points finish has motivated the team in anticipation for the upcoming Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

Kevin Magnussen, Guenther Steiner and Nico Hülkenberg
Photo: Haas F1 Team

“There are four very strong teams…”

Ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, Haas are preparing for a tough battle to continue their points scoring after their hard fought P10 in Jeddah. Team boss Steiner says scoring points motivates the team for upcoming races. He also says the team fought hard to achieve the P10 finish.

“This year we started off with a clear target in mind to better our position in the Constructors’ Championship from last year.” Said Steiner. “Obviously, we didn’t score in Bahrain but as we all found out there are four very strong teams now in Formula 1 and the points that are up for grabs are not many.

“In Bahrain, we didn’t score but now we’ve scored one point in Saudi Arabia, and it was done pretty well. By saying that, I mean we didn’t luck into the point, we fought well for it. Getting points is the biggest motivation for the team, if you get points the team is happy and motivated to get up and go to the next race.”

“Everyone is in that midfield…”

Steiner then continued to comment on the closeness of the midfield teams this season, claiming “there is nobody behind” in terms of pace. He says this makes every point crucial as the majority of the grid battles for the limited number of points paying positions.

He also noted that he believes Haas currently sits towards the front of the midfield, although he expects the pecking order to change on an almost race by race basis.

“As we’ve discussed, there are only a few points available for the midfield teams and everyone is in that midfield, from P6 down it’s all midfield, there is nobody behind.

“We must take every opportunity. I think we are in the midfield, the upper end of it, but every race could see a change where each team is. The only thing to do at the moment is to work hard and try not to make mistakes because they will cost dearly.”

Both Haas drivers on track in Jeddah
Photo: Haas F1 Team

“Everybody likes coming to Melbourne.”

Steiner also shared his positive view on the Australian Grand Prix, noting the excellent fan reception for Formula 1 as well as the track characteristics, which have only been improved since the circuit changes made ahead of the 2022 running of the Australian Grand Prix.

Both Nico Hülkenberg and Kevin Magnussen also shared their positive experiences with Melbourne, with the drivers appreciating both the Grand Prix as well as the city in which it is hosted.

“Everybody likes coming to Melbourne.” Steiner said. “It’s a combination of things, it’s the wonderful people of Australia who always give us a big welcome, it’s the race track which is in the city, but it isn’t a street race, it’s a race track, and it’s the history. It’s the welcome we’re given – people really appreciate us being there and it’s very simple, we all love to go there.”

Magnussen echoed his boss’s opinion, citing the historical timing of the Australian Grand Prix as the opening race of the season as a contributing factor to the event’s popularity.

“It’s a special vibe because Melbourne was the first race of the season for many years. It’s always more exciting because it’s the first race, everyone gets to see new cars and because of that it’s a special vibe. Australia is an awesome place to go, it’s often just a really nice trip overall.”

“I’m looking forward to coming back.”

Nico Hülkenberg also shared his excitement for this weekend’s event. The German noted both his positive experiences in the city of Melbourne, as well as his anticipation to learn the new track characteristics as the circuit has been updated since 2019, when Hülkenberg last drove in Albert Park.

“Melbourne is a cool, vibrant place and although it’s a big journey for us all to get there, it’s always fun to travel and I’ve made lots of friends over the years. I’m looking forward to coming back.

“The track has been modified slightly since I raced there last in 2019, they’ve opened up some of the corners, so I think it’s much more high-speed now. There’s a lot of DRS zones as well so I’m looking forward to going and learning the new high-speed Melbourne characteristics.”