The Australian Grand Prix on July 10 inside the Red Bull Ring marked a monumental date for Team Haas, as both cars scored points in consecutive races following a four-year drought. The result has put Team Principal Guenther Steiner in a position of optimism regarding his team’s placement in the constructors’ standings this season.
After five straight races without any points, double points arrived on the board for Haas at Silverstone – as Mick Schumacher caught his first ever top-10 placement – and a repeat performance returned the next round in Australia, with Schumacher taking P6 alongside Kevin Magnussen’s P8.
This became the first time Haas has achieved back-to-back double points since the 2018 Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix. The result catapulted Haas from P9 to P7 in the constructors’ standings, and now Steiner believes his team can move one position higher before the end of 2022.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but if we can keep seventh, or to end up sixth – it would be nice,” Steiner commented before the French Grand Prix. “I think anything above sixth will be complicated because the other teams are outstanding, and they’re a little bit far ahead.
“If we can keep going as we are going – obviously, we will not have the perfect race weekend like the last two with both cars scoring points – but we need to keep on working hard, and maybe we can achieve sixth. First of all, we need to make sure that we stay seventh.”
Thirty-One Grand Prix’s Later
Schumacher has undergone a painstaking 31 Grands Prix before taking his first points, but his turn of form has now seen the 23-year-old driver finish P8 or higher in his last two races. Next up, the French Grand Prix, a circuit where the youngster obtained his first ever Q2 appearance in 2021, despite wrecking his car and drawing a red flag in Q1 – Schumacher reflected on much he’s grown as a professional during the previous twelve months.
“Obviously, I feel more experienced,” said the German. “I feel a bit more complete, but there’s still a long way to go. It’s only my second year, there’s so much more to learn in Formula 1 besides racing, and every day I try to exploit that to see where I can improve and where I still feel like I need work.”
The sportsbooks aren’t expecting Schumacher to achieve a first-place finish with betting odds of +40000; however, North Carolina sports betting is supplying odds for the growing American fan base, and a top-six finish is currently priced at +600.
Interestingly, if you believe Schumacher and Magnussen can accomplish another double-point success, you’ll find excellent betting value at +250 for the duo to achieve a third consecutive point grab.
Magnussen recently revealed that Haas might receive their first significant season upgrade before the upcoming race in Hungary. The French Grand Prix should be the final race they do with the current package before receiving new upgrades.
Haas Upgrade: Surprisingly Fast
Steiner and his Haas drivers have been pleasantly surprised how fast their cars have been without upgrades, as almost every team except them has been upgrading.
Team Principal Steiner has reserved his car upgrades until the final race prior to the summer break, which is the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 31.
This news comes after the consecutive streak of points. Still, Steiner insists his confidence has always been high, despite the five-race pointless streak between the Miami and Canadian Grands Prix, that Haas would revive the competitive spirit even without the upgrades not arriving until Hungary.
“I would say a lot of people are surprised – we knew there was more to come, and we, therefore, said why should we rush to do something,” Steiner told the press.
“Even when the drivers say, ‘I’d never have believed this car can still qualify sixth and seventh when all the others bring packages.’
“I told them, ‘Yeah, they bring packages, but you guys don’t know what packages they bring, so how can you judge those packages?’
“We know exactly what we are doing and can just try and do our best. We need to believe in ourselves, and we did. I think we have proven the car is still strong, and there will be a package coming, and hopefully, it gets even stronger.”