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Monday, February 26, 2024

Hulkenberg’s F1 expertise already paying off for Haas

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In two years Haas has gone from using two rookies in Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin to having probably the most skilled line-ups on the grid, with Hulkenberg coming back from three years with no full-time drive to associate Kevin Magnussen in 2023.

The German made Q3 and certified tenth on his debut for the group in Bahrain, and in addition began tenth in Saudi Arabia after gaining a spot from Charles Leclerc’s penalty.

In consequence Hulkenberg has outqualified Magnussen at each venues to this point, though in Jeddah the Dane had the stronger race and netted the group’s first level of the yr in tenth.

“I believe he has given us what we have been in search of,” stated Steiner when requested by Autosport about Hulkenberg.

“And we may see it instantly. I imply, Kevin struggled in qualifying, Nico did not.

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“However Kevin shouldn’t be upset about it. Really he’s fairly completely satisfied that Nico did not wrestle, as a result of he is aware of he simply must get there.

“In any other case, it was like, ‘what’s mistaken right here?’. To be certified fifteenth and 18th, it is identical to a catastrophe?

“However we acquired into Q3 fairly, fairly sturdy [in Bahrain]. So Kevin is aware of it is there. He simply must get there.”

Guenther Steiner, Staff Principal, Haas F1 Staff Nico Hulkenberg, Haas F1 Staff

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Many groups have struggled to extract the utmost potential out of their automobiles up to now this season, with tyres and monitor temperatures taking part in a important position.

And with Haas now nudging up towards the associated fee cap restrict, the kind of harm payments incurred by Schumacher in a collection of crashes final yr could be much more hectic for the group.

Steiner acknowledged that these are areas the place Hulkenberg’s expertise can assist.

“That is why we took him,” he stated. “You assume I say that with hindsight, however everyone knows that with this regulation that was the route everybody goes.

“There are 10 good groups there. Now, they’re all engaged on a really related funds, they’ve all good drivers, they’re all stable financially, they’re all stable technically.

“So what is occurring is that it is getting nearer, every part. And little – or slightly huge! – issues like a driver will make a distinction, simply to get the very best out instantly.

“And that’s what we wished, simply an skilled driver who can get us in that route. So clearly, we’re fairly proud of what occurred.”

After the group skilled issues with earlier line-ups, Hulkenberg and Magnussen are underneath strict orders to watch out when racing one another. It is a ruling each males have accepted, once more reflecting their collective maturity.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Photograph by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“Now we have a coverage at Haas that we do not block one another, we do not combat one another,” stated Magnussen.

“I can push to try to hold him behind, however I am unable to shut the door and stuff like that.

“So it is sort of simply being good to one another and ensuring that we’re working for the group, and never for ourselves.”

“I believe it is a good rule,” stated Hulkenberg. “We do not wish to make one another’s lives tougher. We’re right here to maximise our efficiency and rating as a group.

“So I believe we’re completely effective. No issues there. I overtook him and there have been completely no issues.”

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