Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner has reason to be satisfied with the first week of pre-season testing for the Haas team. They managed to clock more laps than any other team on two of the four days of testing
On the final day of testing, Romain Grosjean managed to complete 118 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya, matching the impressive tally his teammate Kevin Magnussen also achieved on day two. The team are looking to utilise the huge amount of data and feedback that has been accumulated in preparation for their second season in F1.
“Quite a good day today. A lot better than yesterday. We got a lot of data. Romain was able to drive the car for longer stints and get a good feeling for it. We made good progress, even running on the wet, which was not ideal, but we made the best out of it. Now we need to get ready for test number two. Reliability has, obviously, been good.
This year we’ve had very few and very small problems. Compared with last year, it’s been a lot better. That is how it should be. Ferrari did a very good job this year with the power unit package. It’s been very reliable. The engineers will now go over the data and the comments from the drivers, and out of that we will establish a test plan for next week. We know a lot more about the car now than we did four days ago. Now we can make the next step and hone it out, make it better.”
– Guenther Steiner
Haas go into their second season with a stronger driver line-up than last year. Kevin Magnussen has had many more points finishes than Esteban Gutierrez, and recent criticism of the Danish driver handily brings up the topic of driver reputation in F1.
Earlier in the week, a British publication suggested that this is Mangussen’s last chance in F1 given that he has now had three full seasons in F1 with three different teams. His first year with McLaren can’t really be regarded as a failure given that at the time, McLaren were coming to terms with underperforming. Magnussen scored 55 points in 2014 and was axed. The year before, Sergio Perez suffered the same fate after scoring 49 points for the Woking squad. Being dismissed from McLaren doesn’t necessarily appropriate to being a bad F1 driver. There aren’t many that would dismiss Sergio Perez as a pushover.
At Renault last year, Magnussen and Palmer were driving an underdeveloped yellow-liveried Lotus, yet the Dane still managed to outperform his teammate and attract criticism from Cyril Abiteboul at the same time. Is 2017 the Danish driver’s last chance to show us all what he can do? I’d argue that it’s his first.