Haas F1 Team Principal, Guenther Steiner, has said there is a possibility the team will end up paddy-last this season after finishing out the 2020 season 9th in the Constructor’s Standings.
The team hosts a completely new lineup for 2021, consisting of Nikita Mazepin and 2020’s F2 Champion Mick Schumacher.
Both had a day-and-a-half run in the VF-21 during testing, and although handling the new contender well, only William’s teammates George Russell and Nicholas Latifi posted slower final laps than the Haas rookies.
A hydraulic issue on day one, after just seven laps logged, led to a long delay in the garage for a gearbox change for Schumacher.
After getting back out on the track for the final hour of the session, the best lap for Schumacher that day was a 1:36.127 – placing him 16th overall, just one place behind Mazepin in 15th.
Day two saw Mazepin have a productive morning with 76 laps, which included a race simulation, and a fastest time of 1:33.101, placing him 14th overall while Mick’s fastest lap of day two was 1:32.883, putting him in 12th.
The final day on track for the two 21-year-olds was a busy one, with Schumacher ending his session 15th on the timesheets with a best lap of 1:32.053, and Mazepin one place behind his teammate overall with a fastest lap of 1:31.531.
Speaking about the weekend results to Sky Italia, Guenther Steiner said there’s a “possibility” they will land in 10th place this season, after confirming they would be focusing more on their car development for the 2022 season.
He said; “It’s a possibility, if this happens we have to work on it.
“It’s a choice to do a year of transition, so we have to deal with it.
“We decided to do that because we think it’s the best solution for us.
“Sometimes you have to take a step back to make then two steps forward.
“Maybe the two rookie drivers will push each other to do the best they can. We need also to try new things.
“If this choice does not work, we’ll try something else.”