Haas team principal Guenther Steiner calls the three days of pre-season the best test the team has had, after a vastly improved performance compared to 2022.
All ten teams completed more than 300 laps, or an average of 100 laps per day, but Haas racked up 415 to rank fourth in terms of total mileage. Steiner was very impressed by the overall performance of the grid during the only test before the Bahrain Grand Prix and ranks it as the productive fog of Haas’ time in Formula 1.
“Preparation wise, yes (the best of all) and smart operation,” Steiner said. “You have to look outside. I think he is the best in Formula 1 of all time. We have seen, how many red flags? Three? Everyone hanging around… if you go to the lap count from the previous season, first test, this has never happened before in my opinion. I am so amazed about it. Five years ago every two, three hours there was a red flag. Now we’re all spinning around, just boom, boom, boom.
“I think going back to the best test we’ve ever had, we had the best test because last year was our worst test because we were way down. This year we went through our entire program, almost all of it. We lost a few races because of the throttle problem we had, but not a lot.
“The guys got a lot of information. This car is an evolution from last year, so it’s not a completely new car, you can learn a lot faster because you know what you’re going to get and it takes less time for the mechanics to do things, make setup changes, because the year past everything was new. .”
12 months ago, Steiner was dealing with the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and dropped Nikita Mazepin and title sponsor Uralkali, but now he heads into the season with a new partner in MoneyGram and an experienced lineup of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg.
“I almost cried for that! No, we had a little chat a few days ago and we said think about what we had to do last year at this time. I was like, how the hell did we get out of this hole? Because we keep falling into holes. Think back now… I think how we handled it, I still wouldn’t do anything differently.”