Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner has conceded the temperatures set for the Qatar Grand Prix have left him "scratching his head".
F1 returns to Qatar following a year off for its second race at the Lusail International Circuit, which hosted its inaugural event at short notice two years ago as the sport looked to fill out the calendar under the restrictions of the Covid pandemic.
But no race took place last year with the country focused on hosting the football World Cup, though that has allowed for vital upgrades to be made to the track facilities to better accommodate F1, with motorbikes having taken precedent previously.
Whilst the prospect of a Sprint event at the venue setting up an exciting weekend ahead with little data to use before limited practice running, high temperatures - though abating at night - are on Steiner's mind.
“In 2021, when we visited the first time, it was a ‘last-minute’ call I’d say," said Steiner.
"We were welcomed very much by everyone in Qatar and it was a good race.
"I remember the smaller garages but that was because they were built for motorbikes, but the facilities have all been upgraded and they look very good.
"There were some issues with the floor because of the kerbs I remember, but let’s see what has been done.
"The only thing that has me scratching my head is the temperatures, which are really high, in the forties. We’re racing at night though, so it should be okay.”
Working hard to get out of the hole
Whilst Nico Hulkenberg has often displayed promising one-lap pace for Haas this term, struggles with tyre degradation - especially on the rear tyres - have left the team fighting a losing battle come race day.
Steps looked to have been taken at the Singapore Grand Prix, only for a return to reality in Japan last time out.
On how he manages his emotions from race to race, Steiner explained: “It’s very simple, just look forward and know what we are doing as a team.
"We’re working hard to get out of this hole and that’s what motivates me every day of the week.
"I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know we’re working hard and getting better to where we want to be and should be.”