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F1 | US GP | Steiner on Mazepin's chassis change after the summer break: "I think he's happy; I haven't heard any complaints anymore"

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has downplayed Haas's chances of making it into Q2 for the second race in sucession. The Italian was also unconcered about the possibilty of Michael Andretti buying Alfa Romeo Racing.

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F1 | US GP | Steiner on Mazepin's chassis change after the summer break: "I think he's happy; I haven't heard any complaints anymore"
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic-Motorlat

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has downplayed Haas’s chances of making their second consecutive appearance in Q2 this weekend at Austin.

After a gloomy first half of the season that saw the team struggle for pace, Haas finally had something to smile in Turkey when Mick Schumacher sneaked into the second part of Qualifying with an excellent final lap in damp conditions to eliminate McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.

But Steiner played down the team’s chances of returning to Q2 for the second race in succession when he spoke to selected media outlets which included Motorlat.

“I would say what Mick did in the last race was pretty good, as I am always saying we are always fully prepared, if there's an opportunity given to us with the car we’ve got, we try to take it and Mick did, and I would say if theirs not special circumstances like there were last weekend with the wet race track, it is very difficult to get into Q2.

“So our expectations are the same as always; we try to do a good job; if there is an opportunity there, we try to take advantage of it.”

On the other side of the Haas garage, Nikita Mazepin goes into Austin searching for his first Q2 appearance of the season, with the Russian now seemingly getting to grips with the team’s VF-21. 

Steiner believes that Mazepin’s recent upturn in performance is a sign that is he comfortable with the new chassis that he received after a testing first half of the season.

“I think he’s happy; I haven’t heard any complaints anymore! So I guess he’s happy, and no news is good news for me.”

“I think in some of the races, in qualifying (in particular), he’s closer to Mick, and that’s a good thing because as a team we need two good drivers, not one, so for me if he’s successful, that’s good for the team, and that’s good for me.”

This weekend’s United States Grand Prix comes at a time when the popularity of the sport in the US is seemingly at an all-time high, with this weekend’s race looking set to be a sellout.

The growth of Formula 1 in the US has even attracted Indycar team owner and former McLaren driver Michael Andretti to potentially buy Alfa Romeo Racing, with Andretti’s star driver Colton Herta looking likely to emulate his team owner by leaving Indycar for Formula 1.

Despite these rumours of Andretti's arrival into Formula 1, Steiner remained untroubled about the thought of a second American team joining the grid whilst admitting that the team did not take full advantage of the American market when they entered Formula 1 in 2016.

“I don’t see anybody as a threat as an American team; I spoke with Michael a few times, I don’t know what Michael is trying to do.  Everybody knows each other in American racing, and maybe there were talks but maybe not as concrete as you think they are.”

“I think what we didn’t do was exploit the American sponsorship market as much as we should have because otherwise, we would have had more American (sponsors) on the car. But it seems to me that everything needs to be American; all of a sudden everything needs to be focused on America.

“There hasn’t come anybody knocking on our door with big sponsorship saying ‘because we are American this what we are going to do’ or ‘this why we are going to support an American driver’.” 

“There is no magic in this game, and whatever happens, there will not be a lot of change; there is a lot of talk at the moment, but we need to walk now.”

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