Haas will 'live with risk' of not developing 2021 car - Steiner

Mick Schumacher (GER) Haas VF-20 Test Driver. 15.12.2020. Formula 1 Testing, Yas Marina Circuit
© XPB 

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says the US outfit's decision not to develop its 2021 car this year is a risk that his team will need to live with.

Haas will roll out its new VF-21 in Bahrain ahead of pre-season testing later this month, but the car's configuration will be set in stone thereafter to allow the team to channel all its resources into its 2022 charger.

The decision will likely confine Haas to the lower tier of F1's midfield, implying that points will be hard to come by for the team's pair of rookies, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

"Yeah, there is that risk, but we need to live with that risk," Steiner told Motorsport.com. "We need to see the big picture is the mid- to long-term, it's not the short-term.

"If we just see the short term, then in '22 it will be, 'Why didn't we do the '22 car? Because now we cannot catch up.'

"It's very difficult to catch up with the aero restrictions and the budget cap. So you put as much in as you can on the front end."

Steiner is under no illusions about the challenge that awaits Haas this season.

"It will be quite a challenging season going forward, we know about that," he admitted.

"We've braced ourselves for it. We'll do as much as we can for this year for the mid-term, compromise the short term for the gains on the mid- to long term. That's our plan at the moment."

Looking ahead, the Italian sees this year's campaign as a training period for Schumacher and Mazepin while ensuring the team keep's itself - and its drivers - out of harm's way as much as possible.

"Damage control, trying to do the best," Steiner said. "For me success would be to get two drivers prepared for the future by the end of the year.

"That will be success, that we learn, so in '22 we don't have any issues anymore, where we say these are rookie drivers and they still need to learn.

"They learn for a year, and I think it is a good opportunity, because the pressure will not be as high as when you have a good car. So I think our ambitions are realistic.

"We just want to do the best we can. Hopefully we can get some points now and then. But it will be tough – and we are braced for it."

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