Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has admitted that the team will need a miracle to escape Q1 in Baku.
The American team, which has suffered a nightmare start to the season, had been running in the top 15 during the Free Practice sessions in Monte Carlo, in what was Haas’ best showing in a timed session so far this season.
However, both Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher failed to make the second part of qualifying, with Mazepin out-qualifying his German teammate after Schumacher’s car was too badly damaged to take part in qualifying after a shunt in the third Free Practice session.
Steiner, who spoke to selected members of the media, which included MotorLat.com, believes that Haas will need other teams to hit trouble to escape Q1.
“It is very difficult for us to get out of Q1, we’re realistic about that, but should it happen, we would be very happy, but I think something special needs to happen to our performance to get into Q2.”
Schumacher, in particular, comes into Baku off the back of two practice shunts in Monte Carlo, which saw him start last on the grid, with the German having a difficult race that could only see him manage 18th and last.
Despite this setback, Steiner praised Schumacher for the way he handled his most challenging weekend in Formula 1 to date.
“Mick acted very professionally about it; he knew he had an issue with his fuel system, which is just part of racing, and as for the crash, he digested that one very well, he was up and running again on Sunday morning, so I think there's no issue it was just part of Monte Carlo, seeing and testing how tough the walls were.”
Steiner also expressed his hopes that Mazepin had gained confidence for Baku after the Russian defied expectations to produce a clean performance in Monte Carlo to finish 17th.
“I think he has taken in some confidence from his performance in Monte Carlo for Baku because it’s a street circuit as well where some corners are very tight. I hope that what he learned from Monte Carlo he will take into Baku and have an even better weekend.”