Haas boss Guenther Steiner believes Formula 1 drivers will “race hard” in Sprint Qualifying – but will request that his drivers “keep their noses clean.”
Formula 1 will use a revised format at Silverstone, with qualifying taking place on Friday evening, and a 17-lap race – dubbed Sprint Qualifying – scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
It has led to speculation that drivers may adopt a cautious approach in Sprint Qualifying in order to avoid risking their starting position for Sunday’s grand prix.
But Steiner believes that will not be the case, albeit while stressing his rookie duo Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin should nonetheless avoid drama.
“I think for sure the drivers will race hard because in qualifying everyone races hard and this is like a sprint race which defines the qualifying positions,” he said.
“On Sunday, when points are at stake, you want to be in the best position to start the race as you can.
“From our side, this year it’s all about learning so running the race, having a few more race starts during the year because of sprint qualifying format will be an advantage next year.
“On the sprint, I will tell them to keep their noses clean and keep the cars on the track.”
Steiner is cautiously optimistic that Sprint Qualifying will receive a positive response from Formula 1 fans.
Further trials are due to be held in Italy and, likely, Austin, ahead of a full assessment of whether it is adopted more regularly in 2022.
“I am looking forward to it because it’s something new and something new always gives opportunity and hopefully we can be a part of that,” he said.
“I think the success will be if the fans like it. At the moment I think it’s a good format but if there’s something we can enhance, and the fans embrace it, that would be good and then I would say let’s do more of it.”