Austrian Grand Prix: Haas hoping to return to the factors at Red Bull Ring

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Haas final added to their account within the F1 Sprint Race on the Miami Grand Prix, when Nico Hülkenberg parlayed a tenth-place end in qualifying for the F1 Sprint Race right into a seventh-place end result within the F1 Sprint Race itself, incomes two important factors for the crew.

With Formula 1 returning to the F1 Sprint format this weekend on the Austrian Grand Prix, can Haas return to the factors?

It has been a tough stretch for the crew since Miami, with their greatest probability for factors coming within the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola. That weekend noticed Hülkenberg qualify tenth, however he completed in P11, one spot out of the factors. Since then they’ve been left on the skin trying in, together with a double DNF in Monaco attributable to an opening-lap collision involving Sergio Pérez.

Their current struggles opened the door for Alpine, whose personal success the previous few weeks — with six factors over two race weekends — has seen the French outfit climb above them within the Constructors’ Championship standings. Alpine now sits seventh within the desk with eight factors, one level — and place — forward of Haas with seven factors.

As Haas heads to Red Bull Ring together with the remainder of the grid for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, they’re hopeful that current success at that circuit will assist their quest for factors.

“It’s a short track that packs in a lot of fun,” stated Hülkenberg within the crew’s media preview. “The length of the circuit means it bunches us all up over qualifying, which is a challenge, but we have two opportunities as it’s a Sprint. Last year I scored points around the Red Bull Ring, so I know it can be done, and we want to be back scoring points, so that’s the mission in Spielberg.”

On the opposite facet of the storage Kevin Magnussen — who’s hoping to have his F1 future resolved “soon” — is cautious that the numerous high-speed corners in Austria might pose an issue for the crew’s VF-24.

“It’s a fun track; I’ve got some good memories from the Red Bull Ring, that’s where we’ve had our best team result so I’m looking forward to going there again,” described Magnussen. “We have quite an efficient car so hopefully with our good straight-line speed we can be good there. There’s still a fair number of high-speed corners, which is perhaps not our strength, but we seem to be pretty consistently good at most tracks. I’m just looking forward to a fun Sprint weekend.”

Haas Race Engineer Mark Slade walked by means of the number of corners Red Bull Ring presents, and the way every could, or could not, go well with the crew’s challenger.

“One of the main things about the Red Bull Ring is that it’s a very short lap so it gets busy, particularly in practice and qualifying. It’s a nice mixture of low-, medium-, and high-speed corners, and obviously in a spectacular setting so it looks amazing, and it does provide quite a significant challenge for us when setting the car up,” described Slade. “We’ve had some issues with medium-speed corners, so we’re expecting to have to manage that, it’s going to be a challenge for us, but on the other hand in low-speed corners, we’ve generally been very good at them and we think we’ve taken a step forward in high-speed corners recently. We’ll see how we get on, but we’ve got a plan of course.”

While many groups have addressed the challenges a compressed F1 Sprint week places in entrance of them, Slade outlined how for a crew like Haas, there are added advantages to the condensed schedule.

“There is a lot of extra work for a Sprint, especially in amongst a triple-header, but it also makes it very interesting, it’s all a part of Formula 1,” stated Slade. “You need to be lifelike that you simply’re not going to have the ability to do the whole lot you’d love to do with one observe session, so you need to decide crucial factors that you simply suppose are related to getting the very best out of the automotive in each the Sprint and the race and work to realize these aims – it’s a really compressed, extremely edited run plan.

“The format of a Sprint is different from previous years, so you can afford to be a little bit more experimental in the Sprint race because points only go to eighth place, and realistically we’re chasing that last points-paying position so it means we can try things that we wouldn’t necessarily have tried, knowing we can change things for the race.”

Slade and the remainder of the crew get their first crack at Red Bull Ring this Friday.

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