Haas boss Guenther Steiner believes Formula 1 teams have never been better prepared for a new season off the back of the reliability shown during testing.
There were only a handful of stoppages across the three days of running in Bahrain, with Aston Martin, Mercedes and Alfa Romeo all responsible for causing the session to be halted.
The three incidents had only minor impact on the teams’ respective run plans while McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri was the sole driver to spin across the three days, as no-one had any major incident or accident.
The team with the least mileage – McLaren – still managed to complete 312 laps.
When asked if Haas’ pre-season was the best in its history Steiner replied: “I mean, preparation-wise, yes, absolutely and also running wise.
“But I think you have to look out there. I think it’s the best one Formula 1 has ever. I mean, we have seen how many red flags?
“Everybody is doing the laps. If you to go the lap count from previous seasons on the first test, this never happened before in my opinion. I’m so amazed about it. Five years ago, every two, three hours there was a red flag. Now we all do the laps. Boom, boom.”
Haas’ 2022 build-up was disrupted by the Nikita Mazepin saga and reliability glitches whereas in 2023 Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hülkenberg combined to complete a test devoid of significant setbacks.
“This year everything was just a lot smoother,” said Steiner. “Everything worked just a lot better. I almost cry about [last year].
“We had a little chat a few days ago and said ‘think about what you had to do last year at this time’. There was everything. ‘How the hell are we going to get out of this hole?’ We kept on falling into holes.
“This car is an evolution of last year. So it’s not a completely new car. So you can learn a lot quicker because you know already what you think you will encounter. And also the mechanics take less time to do things, to change set-up changes because they know the car. Last year, everything was new.”