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Steiner: Frustrated Haas F1 team looking for “sunshine on a Sunday”

Autosport logo Autosport 24/5/2022 Adam Cooper

Kevin Magnussen qualified an encouraging eighth in Barcelona only to clash with Lewis Hamilton on the first lap.

The Dane lost of a lot of time returning to the pits, and having been put on what was in effect a one-stop strategy - as the only driver to use the hard tyre - he struggled to make any progress on his way to 17th place.

Mick Schumacher made Q3 for the first time and started 10th, and at one stage he looked to be in with a chance of scoring his first points.

However he was on a two-stop strategy and lost ground to those who stopped three times, eventually finishing 14th.

The Barcelona disappointment came in the aftermath of a disastrous race day for Haas in Miami, where both drivers were involved in incidents in the closing laps.

Following Magnussen’s promising fifth in the Bahrain season opener the team has earned just two ninth places in the past five races.

"It gets to you a little bit because they're lost opportunities,” Steiner told Autosport.

“The car seems to be on a good pace, because we qualified eighth and 10th, so we need to get points at some stage.

“So missed opportunities, a little bit unlucky in some places with the safety car, and obviously then it gets into frustration.

“It's not all bad for us, it's just like we need to have a little bit of sunshine on a Sunday."

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 © Autosport.com Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Steiner admitted that the team had made life harder for Magnussen by stretching pout his stints.

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"If on lap one you have the incident, it is what it is. So it's a big frustration that we ended up where we were after Turn 4.

"I think Lewis just understeered a little bit and understeered into him, and that was it.

“The strategy we tried obviously didn't work out, but we had nothing to lose. We tried to do something which wasn't there, but it wouldn't have made the difference anyway.

“He came out a lot later than Lewis, because he had to drive back slower. And then he did a one-stop strategy.

"It was two stops, but the first stop was after one lap. We tried to put him on the C1 to see what happens, and that didn't work out. Obviously Lewis came back and made up time, and we didn't.”

Steiner conceded that the team realised it had got Schumacher’s strategy wrong, and that he could have made a third stop, like most rivals.

"It was too late. I mean, I think even with a three-stop it would have been difficult to get into points, but for sure there would have been more chances."

In Monaco last year Schumacher showed some promise even with an uncompetitive car, setting the 14th best time in FP3 before a crash at Casino Square ruled him out of qualifying.

Steiner is hopeful that the German will be able to find some good speed once more on the streets of the principality.

“Absolutely, I hope that we do good again, like we did here in qualifying. In Monaco always 95% of the race is done on Saturday. So that is what you need to focus on.

"It won't be easy, and it's a new experience with these cars. And, as always, you just try to do the best.”

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