Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says achieving a singular top 10 finish in Formula 1 this year would be a “fantastic result” for the squad amid its anticipated struggles.
Following a disappointing 2020 season, in which it collected three points from 17 races, Haas is expecting another tricky campaign in 2021.
The team will not develop the VF-21 car throughout the year and has opted not to spend its two development tokens for 2021 as it shifts focus onto next year’s car.
With rookies Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin forming Haas’ driver line-up this season, Steiner hopes both drivers will consistently learn F1 during the year, admitting points finishes will be hard to come by.
“I would hope that our two drivers have learned as much as possible and maybe even more than that in order to get ready for next year,” Steiner said when asked what he would consider a successful season.
“If we can get a point or two at some stage – that would be a fantastic result. But we are realistic, and points will be hard to come by. As long as we learn, we improve, and can get back to where we were in the past – I’m happy.
“It’s going to be a hard climb this season, but we will get something good out of it, we always do.”
With the team braced to be backmarkers across a scheduled 23 race calendar – the longest in F1 history – Steiner says there are many reasons for Haas to be motivated this year.
“I think we’ve got a few things to keep us motivated through the year,” Steiner said. “We’ve got two young drivers that we need to develop, and we will develop over the year.
“That will come with some excitement, I’m sure of that. Then the light at the end of the tunnel is 2022 where we will be back at our full strength because we regrouped last year and we made a step back to make two forward.
“For sure, some things will be challenging – also personally to keep on pushing, but I think we can do this. In the end, it’s all in nine months, but it’s 23 races. We are prepared for it and we’ll get it done.”