Guenther Steiner has jokingly suggested that Haas could have claimed pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix if they had applied an upgrade package. The Haas team boss stated ahead of the Barcelona weekend that no new parts would be coming to the VF-22, in a bid to maximise the base car's potential. As it turned out, Haas were the only team to refrain from bringing any updates, but that did not stop both Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher from reaching Q3. Magnussen secured eighth on the grid, while Schumacher also made it through - to grab 10th - after Lando Norris' best Q2 lap time was deleted over track limits. Magnussen's effort was just under a second adrift of pole-sitter Charles Leclerc, and only a few tenths off Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez.
Steiner: Can you imagine if we had an upgrade?
Steiner was in a positive mood as he assessed Haas' qualifying performance, which preceded a challenging race day for the team . "We still have a lot to come. Can you imagine if we had an upgrade? We would be on pole!" Steiner laughed to media, including RacingNews365.com . "I told you we would get quicker with no upgrades, and we did. I always said we need to find the sweet spot of this car. "You bring upgrades to Barcelona because you know the race track, and I was thinking, 'Okay, we know the race track, so it's a good time to get the best out of this car', and that's what race engineering did."
What will Haas do going forward?
Steiner described the weekend as a useful exercise for Haas, ahead of their first updates arriving "in about four or five races". "If we would have brought updates [to Barcelona], we wouldn't have understood the upgrades, and maybe we would have even been slower instead of faster," continued Steiner. "[We] used this [race] to get the best out of this car, so [at] the next races hopefully we can keep that base, and then we will bring updates. "For me, it was like, 'We haven't understood this car', because our performance - if you look - was too up and down, and the car doesn't go quicker and slower from race track to race track. "We just needed to understand the base well and it worked, I think."