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Schumacher and Mazepin reaching the flag in Bahrain a "success" - Steiner

Schumacher and Mazepin reaching the flag in Bahrain a "success" - Steiner

F1 News

Schumacher and Mazepin reaching the flag in Bahrain a "success" - Steiner

Schumacher and Mazepin reaching the flag in Bahrain a "success" - Steiner
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner will deem the Bahrain Grand Prix a success if rookie drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin both reach the flag on Sunday.

Haas is the only team on the Formula 1 grid to have completely changed its driver line-up over the winter, replacing experienced drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean with Mazepin and Schumacher.

In pre-season testing, the team adapted its run plan to put a larger focus on giving both drivers as much track time as possible rather than on set-up details.

Steiner has confirmed this philosophy will be carried into the season-opener. Asked if simply reaching the chequered flag on Sunday would be a success, he answered: “Absolutely! Bringing the cars home, not doing anything…

"Trying to get as much driving as possible over the whole weekend, including the race, because that is what they need to do this year, to learn their trade and to be ready for next year when we hopefully have a better car.

“But my expectation is they bring them [the cars] home. That is already a success for me because they are two rookies and it will be a tough thing to do anyway.”

Steiner has conceded the atmosphere within the garage this season is different from in recent years given the team had retained its previous driver pairing of Magnussen and Grosjean for four consecutive seasons.

“It is different, obviously, because after the second or third season with Kevin and Romain we knew each other very well and everything gets a bit automatic -here everything is new," added Steiner.

“They are putting a lot of time in with the engineers just to try to get ready as best as possible, and for sure the excitement is high.

"If you think about it, these guys since they were 10 years old, this is the moment they have worked for and now it is coming.

“They are starting their first Formula 1 race on Sunday so I think there is a lot of excitement and I think they are getting anxious to go and nervous on the other side but that is a good thing.

“They will grow but the whole team is in good spirit.”

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