Kevin Magnussen will test the major upgrade Haas is bringing to the Hungarian Grand Prix as the team looks to kickstart its development program.
Haas is bringing its first significant update since 2019 after limited developments during the COVID-hit 2020 season, and then writing off last year to focus on the new regulations. In the middle of a much more competitive 2022, the team will have an update in Budapest that Guenther Steiner is confident about, but says will take a lot of learning when Magnussen receives it.
“Should I say what all the other ones say? ‘Oh it will be fantastic!’,” Steiner said. “No, I know what it should bring, but we just need to make sure that we can get the best out of the upgrade.
“I’m confident but I’m not overconfident, I’m not trying to say now ‘Oh it will all be great’ – we still have to learn about the package and we will be doing it diligently and we need to stay calm.
“But it’s good to have an upgrade package because the driver’s very motivated to test it and it’s the first one we’ve really got this year so let’s see what it brings and let’s hope it works as written on the box.
“It will only be one [driver], and it will be [Magnussen] because he’s the one in front in the championship.”
By running the update on Magnussen’s car it also goes to the more experienced driver who has been through the issues Haas faced in the past with new parts, while providing the opportunity to compare performance to the undeveloped car Mick Schumacher will be driving.
Steiner is also hopeful Haas will be able to continue its strong form in Hungary, saying Magnussen was in a position to challenge for points despite starting last in France before his race was ruined by the safety car timing.
“We drove through, at some stage Kevin was up to 12th and our strategy was well-planned. Now looking back it would have worked perfectly – we knew that we to do two pit stops because our tires couldn’t perform with one stop.
“Everything was planned, but then the safety car came out in a bad moment for us because we’d just put new tires on, so we had new tires on predicting that we couldn’t get to the end and it was proven that we couldn’t get to the end properly.
“So coming in a second time put us back again, but without the safety car I think we could have been in the mix for points.
“The strategy was actually perfect. Come in early, get free air, make time up – because we were stuck behind cars but we were faster – and then when the tires got older we would slow our pace but we knew that so that’s why we planned the two-stop, but we can’t do anything about the safety car coming out.”