Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner mentioned that they, like many other teams on the grid, were surprised by the progress made by the Aston Martin F1 team in the first race of the season.
Aston Martin, who like Haas was in the midfield last season, finished P3 and P6 courtesy of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll in Bahrain last week. The British team looked the second-fastest team on pure performance behind Red Bull.
Speaking to Chequered Flag, Steier said:
“Like everyone, we were surprised by the positive performance of Aston Martin and Alonso. I think they’ve done a very good job over the winter with their car and now they’re tipped to be on top this year. During the race, they had very good race pace with Red Bull, and those two cars stand out in the field at the moment.”
“They’re working well together and there is respect between them” – Haas team boss
Haas’s team principal mentioned that his drivers, Kevin Magnussen, and Nico Hulkenberg, work well together and share a mutual respect for each other. Many had expected a tense rivalry between the duo given their frictional past in the sport.
“They’re working well together and there is respect between them. It’s very good for Kevin to have a teammate with experience and what Nico brings with him is experience. The race engineers clearly feel like they get a lot of information from him after each session, which will bring the race weekend forward, but also overall the race team forward, performance-wise.”
He also analyzed Haas’s performance in the first race of the season, adding:
“It was quite challenging because we had pre-season testing and then there was very little time before the race. All in all, even if we had struggles in the race, qualifying was good. We got one car into Q3 and for Nico to come back after three years of not having a full-time drive, it was a very good result for the team. We could’ve done better than tenth, but we were happy with it. “
He also said:
“In the race, it didn’t start too well, for Nico it wasn’t an ideal start knocking off the front wing endplate, and Kevin was the only one on the hard tire to start which put him in difficulties. All in all though, I think the performance is there in the VF-23, we just need to get it out permanently at all the races – so I’m really looking forward to those races.”
It would be interesting to see if the team can make significant progress in the upcoming races.