Spanish Grand Prix: PreviewMay 16, 2022
Round 6 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship will take Haas F1 Team to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was inaugurated in 1991, ahead of Barcelona hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics, and it has been a mainstay of Formula 1’s calendar ever since. In addition to its 31 years as Spanish Grand Prix host circuit it has also been a regular venue for Formula 1 test days, including earlier in 2022, when it held the opening three-day pre-season shakedown gathering, at which Haas’ VF-22 ran for the first time.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya also holds special memories for Haas F1 Team as it was where its on-track journey began during pre-season testing in February 2016, when the VF-16 hit the circuit for the first time, commencing a journey that is now into its seventh season.
Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher have widespread experience of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Back in 2013 Magnussen secured the Formula Renault 3.5 title with a double win at the venue and he has since taken part in six grands prix in Spain, recording a best of sixth with Haas F1 Team in 2018. Schumacher gained his first Spanish Grand Prix experience in 2021, having previously finished on the podium at the track in his title-winning 2020 Formula 2 season.
Guenther Steiner – Team Principal of Haas F1 Team
The Miami Grand Prix was clearly a missed opportunity for the team, having had both drivers run in the points during the race. How do you keep focus on the positives and what’s to come rather than dwelling on what might’ve been?
“It was quite disappointing in both qualifying and the race, but we need to keep positive. The positives are the car is good, we just need to get it on the right set-up, getting the tires to work properly and the car is right there. As you could see during the race in Miami, we made up positions until the safety car came out and then we fell back. That’s what you have to focus on – staying confident that we have a good machine and that we will make the points that we want to make.”
Haas F1 Team moves to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix – the location of the first pre-season test this year. There might not be a big advantage / disadvantage for drivers having / not having tested there, but for the team preparing the race strategy and run plans, is there a benefit to having mileage under the belt with these new cars?
“Coming to Spain and knowing that we have been there, I wouldn’t say it’s an advantage compared to the other teams as everybody has been there and knows Spain very well. For us, going there and knowing we’ve run there, and we ran strong and had a good set-up, at least we go there confident. When we get there and start on the right foot, we usually put ourselves into a good position for qualifying and the race, so let’s hope it happens this time as well.”
Barcelona is usually the time of the year when teams start to bring substantial upgrades to packages, do you expect the grid to stay in the same order as the first five races or do you think this is where we’ll see changes in the pecking order, and where does Haas F1 Team fit into that?
“As you say, normally Spain is the obvious place to bring upgrades and I think quite a few teams are planning them. I don’t know how much difference they will make on each car and what they will bring. We have decided to wait a little bit longer with upgrades as I still think we have performance in the car without them which we have to get on the track, so sometimes we achieve it, sometimes we don’t. We have a good upgrades package in about four or five races coming, so I’m confident about that and what the other ones are bringing, as of right now I don’t know, but I will know a lot more next Monday.”