Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes the only upgrade package the team will bring all season has made an improvement despite Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin failing to make an impression in Imola.
Haas has been transparent in its upgrade plans for the current campaign as it has opted to place its entire focus on the 2022 aerodynamic regulation changes.
Although new parts arrived as promised for Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the two Haas drivers were the slowest in qualifying while they were two laps down by the lap-33 red flag after being involved in early incidents.
Defending his team, Steiner explained the more stable conditions across the early phases of the weekend had allowed the two rookies to adapt to the changes.
“It [the upgrade] happened, yes, and the drivers say they think it is better," said Steiner.
"But to compare it with Bahrain is very difficult for us because first of all, it was their first race weekend.
"Secondly, in Bahrain, the circumstances were difficult for all the drivers who have been here for a long time, with the wind conditions changing continuously, and especially for our ones.
“But they like the upgrades we have brought, so we are pretty happy with that.”
Reigning F2 champion Mick Schumacher has reiterated his belief a Q2 appearance for Haas this year is not impossible.
Schumacher highlighted Alonso's Alpine struggles as the reason for his optimism after the Spaniard set a time less than half a second faster than the lead Haas driver in Q1.
Schumacher said: “I had a feeling we would have been able to [reach Q2]. I think the [one minute] 15.8secs from Fernando [Alonso] was difficult to catch right then and there but it was nonetheless a big improvement that we have made from Bahrain.
"It was only our second race together so there is loads of hope out there that we are able to keep on improving and keep on moving forwards hopefully."
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