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Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, Haas F1 Team
Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team is heading straight from Silverstone to Spielberg for Round 11 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Haas F1 Team is heading straight from Silverstone to Spielberg for Round 11 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. 

Austria first joined Formula 1’s calendar in 1964, at Zeltweg Airport, but from 1970 it moved to the newly-constructed Österreichring in the undulating landscape above the village of Spielberg. It featured until 1987 before re-appearing in truncated form, as the A1 Ring, from 1997 through 2003.

Austria’s grand prix again dropped off the schedule for over a decade, with the circuit falling into an unusable state, but after heavy funding from Red Bull it was extensively renovated – with the layout retained – and Austria’s Formula 1 event was revived in 2014.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team
Changeable weather conditions are likely in the Styrian region - it was wet weather qualifying during one of the two back-to-back events held at the start of the 2020 season.

Austria held the opening two rounds of the 2020 season, as Formula 1 grappled with the early stages of the pandemic, and once more in 2021 Spielberg stepped in to fill the void with back-to-back events. Now, after four races in two years, Austria is back to its conventional national grand prix – though there will once more be two opportunities to do battle. That’s because F1 Sprint will return for its second of three outings this season, marking the first time the format has been run at Spielberg. 

Spielberg evokes positive memories for Haas F1 Team, with a best-ever double finish of fourth and fifth achieved at the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix. That result included Kevin Magnussen, who has taken part in seven grands prix in Austria, while Mick Schumacher is preparing for his third Formula 1 round in Austria following his participation in 2021’s double-header. 

Haas F1 Team enters the Austrian Grand Prix eighth in the Constructors’ Championship after a double-points finish last time out in Britain. 

Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team

Guenther Steiner – Team Principal of Haas F1 Team

Three years on since Haas F1 Team’s last double-points score at the German Grand Prix in 2019 – was the British Grand Prix result perhaps a little unexpected given the team’s grid positioning or was it simply further evidence of the team being able to capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves?

“It was a good surprise to finish with two cars in the top-ten, but we know that the car is able to do it, and the team is able to do it, it’s just that the last five races were very difficult. When the opportunity arose this time with the red flag, and we were shifted up a few positions forward, we were not given anything for free. The car was strong, the drivers were strong, so we just capitalized on it and pushed forward. I think it was deserved after quite a few races which were frustrating.” 


Mick Schumacher battled all the way to the checkered flag to score an eighth-place finish and his maiden points at Silverstone. He was pushing Max Verstappen on the final lap – did you feel P7 was there for the taking potentially or were you happy to see a solid P8 banked?

“I’m pretty happy with a solid P8 and I’m not upset that we didn’t achieve seventh. Mick fought for it, but he fought one of the best, if not the best for that position. In the end he brought home P8 and his first points, which is very good.”


While the upgrade package for the VF-22 is still a couple of races away, how satisfying was it to see both cars in the points mid-way through the season with effectively the same technical package the team first tested in Spain and Bahrain in pre-season? Do you feel the full potential in that original package has been unlocked or is there more to come prior to the summer break?

“I’ve always said we’re not going to introduce upgrades just to introduce them because everybody else does, we go our own way. We’ll introduce them when we feel that we have got enough gains that we actually have got something and it’s not just a publicity effort. We have a package coming, hopefully if all goes well for Hungary, and that’s just before the summer break and hopefully we’ll be able to unlock a bit more from the VF-22 with that. As we could see, the VF-22 is still strong even with its launch package.”

Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team

The Austrian Grand Prix comes hot on the heels of the British Grand Prix so how important is the momentum of scoring points and moving back up to eighth in the Constructors’ Championship heading straight into another race weekend – one of four in the month of July?

“July is a very packed month with races. It would be nice to have some more points but as I’ve said before, I don’t want to hype up the expectation now that when we don’t score points, we’re upset, that’s not true. The midfield is very tight together this year and at each race somebody else can get into the points. We need to have a flawless weekend to get into the points because our competitors are strong. Obviously, we will fight for points but if they are not coming there is a race two weeks later in France where we can score points. I think we can potentially score points in each of the races.”


We once again saw at Silverstone, in both the F1 and F2 races on Sunday, the impact of the Halo device in terms of driver safety. Can you share what your thoughts were when the measure was first proposed several years ago to now where we’ve seen its effectiveness in multiple accidents and the protection it provides drivers?

“When the addition was proposed, I wouldn’t say I was skeptical. I knew what I knew, and I said yes, we can do without it and so on but now I must admit, how can we do without it now. The halo device has helped a lot, not only Zhou in the last race but in a lot of accidents in F2, F3, F1, everywhere. If you say we go without the halo device, now it would be like saying we go without helmets or a HANS device. It’s just a part of the safety of Formula 1 cars. Obviously, we have to compliment the FIA as they introduced it and pushed really hard even if some of us were objecting it. It’s a very good device and it’s now part of our technical regulations.”

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