Guenther Steiner has insisted that his Haas team have not given up on being competitive in 2021, despite their focus on the 2022 regulations.
The team have not made it any secret that their priority is building a car capable of running in the midfield when the new sporting regulations are introduced, with Steiner admitting recently that new designer Simone Resta will be focused entirely on 2022.
The US-owned team have struggled over the past two seasons, finishing ninth in the constructors’ championship in consecutive years and will face an uphill struggle to reverse that fate in the upcoming campaign.
Speaking at the launch of the VF-21 last week, Steiner conceded that they had started developing their car late last year, putting them at a disadvantage this season, but confirmed the team will “never give up”.
“I don’t know exactly what the other teams are coming up with,” he said. “Therefore, I wouldn’t call it a holding year.
“It is a transition year, and we always try to do our best. And the car will be hopefully better than – in competition with the other cars of this year, obviously, because everybody or maybe not everybody but [some teams] lost some downforce because of the angulation change – but hopefully we can make some gains. I’m not saying that we have given up.
“We never give up, but we started pretty late last year to develop, but as you said we had some developments planned for the year, which then didn’t materialize, but we picked them up and put them in. And then the engine, as I said before, it looks promising that the engine makes a good step up.
“So we should be in an OK spot, but will we be fighting in the top midfield? I don’t think so. But we are not like going there and saying ‘we want definitely finish last’. That is not happening. I mean, that’s never happening as long as I will be here, you know.
“You’re always trying to get every little bit out of it, you know. And we have got the rookie drivers and we need to be aware of that. And they need to be aware of that not to overdo things or trying too hard, because then you make mistakes. But in the end I really look forward to go racing again, and with the view to get the best out what we can.”