Feb.1 (GMM) Haas’ two race drivers need to get better at being calmly consistent throughout the season.
That is the view of Gunther Steiner, the young and small American team’s boss.
Last year, the closely Ferrari-aligned team surprised by fielding a truly competitive midfield car, only to eventually finish behind Renault for fifth in the world championship.
“The goal for 2019 must be to get fourth place,” Steiner told Denmark’s BT newspaper.
“There are many teams who are looking at fourth this year, but I think it’s possible,” he added.
However, small teams like Haas are expected to be hurt more than their bigger counterparts as the technical regulations undergo a significant tweak.
Steiner said: “The numbers I get from our engineers bode well, but I don’t know what the others are coming up with.
“It looks promising. But it is difficult to compare with last year, because the regulations are so different,” he added.
Some think the clear weak link in the Haas chain in 2018 was the drivers, with Romain Grosjean struggling early on and Kevin Magnussen often tangled up in disputes with his rivals.
“It’s something going on up in their heads,” Steiner said. “Neither of them is good at not being the fastest man in the team.
“Romain and Kevin have to keep pushing each other, but they also have to learn that it is ok to be the second fastest in the team sometimes.
“You can win the war without winning every battle,” he added.
Steiner also said Haas is sticking with its unique and controversial F1 team model, where it relies heavily on partners like Ferrari and Dallara.
“We have employed about 15 new people, but we must remember that we work closely with external suppliers such as Dallara and Ferrari,” said Steiner.
“For us, this is a good way to do things, and I think our model will spread. For example, Toro Rosso will now work much more closely now with Red Bull.”