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Steiner: Hulkenberg’s F1 experience paying off

Steiner Hulkenberg Haas

Guenther Steiner, Haas Formula 1 boss, claims that Nico Hulkenberg’s return is paying off for the US-owned team, Haas.

In past years, the team had taken two rookies on board, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. It recently changed its approach while taking experienced drivers on board, Hulkenberg partnering with Kevin Magnussen, for 2023.

During his first appearance for the team, the German driver secured his way to Q3 and started the race from 10th in Bahrain. Similarly, he managed to find himself in 10th place after Charles Leclerc’s penalty in Saudi Arabia Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg beat his team-mate Magnussen in qualifying at both races. However, despite Hulkenberg’s superior qualifying performance, Magnussen had a stronger race and finished in 10th place, earning the team their first point of the season in Jeddah.

“I think he has given us what we were looking for,” commented Steiner about Hulkenberg.

“And we could see it immediately. I mean, Kevin struggled in qualifying, Nico didn’t.

“But Kevin is not upset about it. Actually he is pretty happy that Nico didn’t struggle, because he knows he just needs to get there.

“Otherwise, it was like, ‘what is wrong here?’. To be qualified 15th and 18th, it’s just like a disaster?

“But we got into Q3 pretty, pretty strong [in Bahrain]. So Kevin knows it’s there. He just needs to get there.”

Tyres and track temperatures have given hard times to many teams. It limited the team’s ability to optimize their cars for maximum performance potential.

Read More: Aston Martin “caught everyone by surprise”

Currently, Haas is struggling to find financial space to maximize its potential this season. The series of crashes by Schumacher last year incurred a huge bill for the team.

Therefore, Steiner believes it is best for the team to have experience driver like Hulkenberg. He can help the team on similar issues with his vast experience.

“That’s why we took him,” he said. “You think I say that with hindsight, but we all know that with this regulation that was the direction everyone is going.

“There are 10 good teams there. Now, they’re all working on a very similar budget, they have got all good drivers, they’re all solid financially, they’re all solid technically.

“So what is happening is that it’s getting closer, everything. And little – or rather big! – things like a driver will make a difference, just to get the best out immediately.

“And that is what we wanted, just an experienced driver who can get us in that direction. So obviously, we are pretty happy with what happened.”

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