Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner has outlined that last week’s 18-inch tyre test was “very important” for the outfit as it eyes moving up Formula 1’s grid under new-for-2022 regulations.
Next year, F1 will switch to 18-inch wheels as part of a wider range of car changes, aimed at closing the competition at the front of the field and allowing for more racing.
Following the British Grand Prix, Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher shared duties to complete 222 laps at Silverstone on the 18-inch tyres in a modified 2019 car, as Haas assisted Pirelli with its development programme.
In recent years, there has been a reduction of pre-season and in-season testing in an effort to slash expenses.
But Steiner says Haas, who operates on a lower budget compared to rivals on the grid, are a “serious team” looking to gather its own information on the new spec of tyre.
“With reduced testing, it [the tyre test] is very important,” Steiner said. “It’s a big change in general next year and we need to get our own understanding and data.
“The drivers need to get a taste of the new tyres, get a feeling and give us feedback of what they think.
“In general, even making a hybrid car, which is a converted 2019 car, obviously doesn’t come for free but it’s worthwhile to do it.
“We are a serious team and this is a part of it to get prepared for the future. As we all know, we’re working very hard on 2022 to get us back to where we were – we need to do this – and it’s worth every bit of effort to get there.
“For the drivers to get a feel, and for the team to get some data, it’s very valuable information.”
Haas’ drivers Schumacher and Mazepin have already run the 18-inch tyres, as they used them full-time during the 2020 Formula 2 season.
Pirelli is scheduled to run two more tests using the new tyres this year in Budapest on August 3 – 4 and Magny-Cours on September 15 – 16.