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Why Haas are optimistic over their 2022 chances

Guenther Steiner is hopeful Haas can return to the level of competitiveness they enjoyed during their early days in F1, drawing comparisons to that period with the new VF-22.

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says that he sees similarities between the 2022 car's stage of development and that of their initial F1 challengers between 2016 and 2018. Having entered F1 in 2016, Haas hit the ground running as a competitive outfit and climbed as high as fifth in the 2018 Constructors' Championship before their performance slid away the following year. Having had such a successful early run in F1, Steiner is optimistic for the upcoming season as he believes the general feeling of the team is similar now to what it was back then. Haas were the first of the teams to reveal their 2022 design last week , as they released studio render shots of the VF-22. "I cannot judge how [well] the car will be performing because, obviously, I haven't seen the other cars," Steiner told media, including RacingNews365.com . "But what I see is we had good cars, for example, in 2018. Even in 2016 and 2017, for a new team, we had pretty good cars, so I just see similarities to that time. "That is the only [way] I can judge the performance, what I expect from the car."

Can Haas rejoin F1's midfield fight?

With Technical Director Simone Resta leading the blank-page design of the car after taking over the role in 2021, Steiner is hopeful of Haas rejoining the midfield battle in 2022 after a few years at the very back of the grid. "I'm cautiously optimistic because I see how Simone Resta and his group developed the car over the last year," Steiner explained. "How hard they've worked on it, the results from the wind tunnel, the improvements they do each session... that makes me cautiously optimistic. "To say we will be in the midfield, I don't know. I think we will be there, but I don't know what the other ones [teams] are doing, so we have to wait a little bit longer. "But, in the interim, I'm pretty happy what happened last year because we had two tough years. What kept me going was actually what the people did in '21 back in the design office and in the aero group."

Haas expecting the field spread to close up

Resta believes that, while the impact of the new regulation changes might initially cause greater field spread, this will shrink as the season goes on and teams get a better handle on the new rules. "As we have seen in the last few big regulation changes, there has always been instances with the spread opening up a little bit – that happens every time," he commented. "I suppose there will be this possibility again, to re-open the spread if you look back at the gaps in the midfield in '21. Nevertheless, the new regulations are tighter from a certain point of view, so that will counterbalance that possibility. "I really hope that finally balancing all the facts, the grid will be tighter. Maybe not on Day 1, maybe not on Day 2, but progressively during the season – the first quarter [to] mid-season etc. "I really hope and I really can see that, step by step, the grid will be closer and closer. Let's see if I'm wrong or I'm right."

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