Magnussen is “back to real racing again” and taking midfield fight to Baku

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Photography issued by Haas under licence to TJ13

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team is buoyant about his team’s progress into the 2017 world championships so far. The Baku street circuit marks a third distance through the annual calendar, and when asked to outline his feelings to date, his responded:

“We’ve had our ups and downs, but we scored points in five of the seven races. And in one of those races, we were well on our way to score points, but then we had a mechanical failure. The midfield is very tough, and to score points five out of seven times is not bad. Sure, we need to score more points, not just one-point scores, but in general the team is maturing and I’m very confident that we’ll keep maturing.”

Looking forward to improving on current form Steiner it keeping one eye very much on aero upgrades, but the other on undisclosed “mid term” updates but ultimately he referenced the team’s overall experience being a factor in gaining more future points. He finished with

“I think we’re on a good track.”

It is my feeling that more experience together as a team off the track, might be as beneficial as the mystery mid term updates on track.

Haas have scored points in five of the seven races this season so far, which is the same number of races that they managed to score points in during the whole of last years campaign. Admittedly they are yet to equal the total but do seem to be more consistent. When this point was directected to the head of the team his replied:

“Absolutely, because that gives our people to go home with something – you don’t have to wait four or five races until you get the next points. Sure, we would like to score more points each event, not just one or two points, but that will come. If you are consistently in the lower-ranking points, we will get to the better positions where there are more points.”

Steiner also (as reported by TJ13 19/06/2017) suggested that the logistics of extending the F1 schedule beyond 21 races could be possible if it was approached correctly and if teams have enough time to make things work. This is not a feeling shared amongst all teams in the pitlane, or the drivers. More races means more staff, perhaps even a second team. More running also means more parts, not many teams could fund this. Perhaps an increased schedule might come with a change in the way the prize money is split between the teams as part of a Liberty restructure..I just can’t see it happening anytime soon.

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K-Mag Photography issued by Haas under licence to TJ13

Kevin Magnussen showed an amount of surprise that the team has managed to show signs of improving on last years success so early on.

“I think it’s been very good. The first season for the team was very impressive. They delivered some good results. The second season was always going to be difficult to improve on, but actually I think we’re on our way to doing that. We’ve been in the points in the same number of races this year than all of last year, so it’s already going well in terms of taking a step forward. That was our main target – to at least improve on last year and make a step forward.”

There is no denying that some of the best action on the track has so far been in the midfield. The battle is incredibly close midfield battle between Force India, Toro Rosso, Williams, Renault and Haas. Sometimes the gap between P1 and P2 has been larger than P10-P17. K-Mag is clearly seeming to enjoy the competition:

“It’s just that it’s so close, even the smallest mistake can cost you a lot. That’s how racing should be. It’s how it’s always been before Formula One in all the other categories I’ve done. It’s kind of really cool that it’s .”

Although there is minimal changes to the track (see TJ13 Race Guide) there were some interesting comments regarding lessons learnt  last year might not be so useful given the changes to the regulations.

“It’s going to be fun. The corners are going to be faster this year because of the increased downforce. We’re going to be a bit slower on the straights, so I suspect Baku might be one of the tracks where we’re not going to be that much faster than the old cars, but it’s still going to be massively fun and challenging in the corners.”

Was there anything from last year’s race at Baku that’s applicable to this year’s race, or is it all out the window because the cars are so different?

All things considered it should be an interesting race for Haas, they know the actual track better, not just the simulation,  and there will be more flat out corners. There are opportunities to overtake, but also low speed opportunities to make a mistake (like in Canada). I think much of the points will be won or lost on tyres performance and strategy for the team.

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RG in Garage – Photography issued by Haas under licence to TJ13

They are taking:

Ø Grosjean:
one set of White mediums, four sets of Yellow softs and eight sets of Red supersofts

Ø Magnussen:
one set of White mediums, four sets of Yellow softs and eight sets of Red supersofts

Haas F1 Team debuted in the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2016, becoming the first American Formula One team since 1986. Founded by industrialist Gene Haas, Haas F1 Team is based in the United States on the same Kannapolis, North Carolina, campus as his championship-winning NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing. Haas is the founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America, and he is chairman of Haas F1 Team.



2 responses to “Magnussen is “back to real racing again” and taking midfield fight to Baku

  1. “Magnussen is “back to real racing again” and taking midfield fight to Baku”

    I don’t know what Magnussen considers midfield – but his average start this year is 14.5 and his average finish 11.5. Which isn’t that far of what Wehrlein has done. That isn’t midfield to me, but the top of the tail-enders,

    • Maybe not “Tail-enders”, but maybe “Also-rans”.
      Averaging 11.5 of 20 statistically is the middle, but not really noteworthy in F1.

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