Guenther Steiner knew before the season even started that the Haas team was in for a difficult year. The car of the American team was no longer developed and there were two rookies behind the wheel. Moreover, the two years before 2021 were not great for the Haas team either. Despite this, the gap to the rest of the backfield was still a scare for Steiner.
Only the floor of the VF-21 was modified to comply with the changing regulations, but in addition the car was no longer developed. The inexperienced drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin could be found at the back of the field every weekend. “It was a very difficult year personally,” Steiner told Motorsport-Magazin. “I knew what was coming, but it was still harder than I could imagine.”
At the start of a Grand Prix weekend, the Haas team was often still in good spirits. Over the weekend it became increasingly clear that there was little to cheer about. “You start a weekend positively, but on Sunday evening you are just tired,” continues Steiner. “Only if we didn’t make mistakes and worked well for a weekend could we see that as a success. We had to be very patient. Everyone tried their best, but the car was just too slow.’
Interruption in development the culprit
Haas has focused on 2022. The American racing stable ignored the development of the VF-21. According to the Italian team boss, that is the explanation of the bad season. ‘We are not a circus full of clowns. The majority of the people who now work for us were already there in 2018. Those people did not suddenly become stupid. The car simply stood still in its development. I can’t blame our mechanics.’
Steiner also points to the lesser season leading up to 2021. In both 2019 and 2020, Haas finished ninth in the Constructors’ Championship. “As of 2019 we are not strong. That is why it is not unexpected that this year also did not go well.’ The team boss couldn’t wait for the end of the season. ‘We had already reached the bottom before the summer break. It was also very hard for that rest period. After the summer break, the number of races will decrease and you can start the countdown; Steiner said.