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Haas F1 Team Surprised By Its Own Fast Start In Formula One

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And raising the bar after just two races is not necessarily something that Haas team principal Guenther Steiner was planning for when making up the team's master plan for 2016.

“No, not realistically," Steiner said. "We always said we would like to score points and make a difference. We wanted to be midfield, but to finish sixth and fifth in our first two races was, for sure, not in the plan. But, we'll take it and we are very happy about it."

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The success has Steiner answering questions he didn't expect to be hearing going into the third race -- questions like "How do you stay ahead of the pack?'"

“It is very difficult, but we will continue to develop," Steiner said. "We’ll continue to test in the wind tunnel and bring new developments to our car, and that will lead to gains in our aerodynamic program throughout the season. I think we’ll bring new developments like the rest of the midfield packs are doing, or aiming to do.”

Driver Romain Grosjean is also surprised at the team's early numbers. The team has scored more points -- 18 -- in its first season of operation than any first-year F1 team in the past 25 years. Grosjean finished sixth at Melbourne and followed that up with a fifth-place showing in Bahrain.

"I didn’t think it would be possible," Grosjean said. "Nobody thought like that. I thought, points early in the season, yes. But top-six finishes, I wasn’t thinking about that, but I am enjoying the moment.”

But as well as Grosjean has been running, the team's second car driven by Esteban Gutierrez has been nothing short of a nightmare. Gutierrez was involved in a dramatic crash that involved McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso just 16 laps into the season-opening race in Melbourne. Then, at Bahrain, a mechanical issue sent Gutierrez to the sidelines just nine laps into the race.

"With Esteban’s incident in Australia, you look at it with the mindset of, ‘What can you do when a guy runs into you?’" Steiner said. "In Bahrain, we had an issue with his brake disc and are still investigating why it actually broke. We are working with the brake manufacturer to have a better understanding of the issue and avoid it in the future. 

"I spoke with Esteban after the race and he said, ‘Guenther, these things happen. There’s nothing we can do.’ He understands why he’s had to retire from each race, and now he’s more determined to get to the end and earn points.”


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Source : http://autoweek.com/article/formula-one/haas-f1-team-seeks-build-historic-start

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