Guenther Steiner expects tight midfield battle after maiden Haas point of 2023

Kevin Magnussen secured one point in Jeddah after a late pass on Yuki Tsunoda.

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Guenther Steiner expects the midfield battle to remain very close for the whole of 2023 ahead of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

The Haas team principal saw Danish driver Kevin Magnussen secure his team’s first point of the year in Saudi Arabia as he made a daring move late in the race to pass AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda.

Steiner was happy to get a point on the board early but admitted that it could have been even more had the safety car not been poorly timed from his perspective.

“I think in Bahrain, we were not good,” Steiner told the media ahead of the Australian GP. “But I think we knew why.

“I always maintain that Jeddah is a different place and we were pretty good for where we’re at right now.

“It’s just so tight between P5 and P10 there’s six teams where it is very close and each track you have to start from fresh. Without the safety car in Jeddah, we could have got closer to Otmar’s [Szafnauer, Alpine team principal] car, but we got stuck behind Tsunoda.”

Big work ahead

One point is more than some have managed so far this season, but Steiner is keen that his team don’t rest on their laurels with such a close midfield battle likely to be prevalent throughout 2023.

“What I’ve seen up to now, we are roughly where we were in Jeddah,” Steiner continued. “We’re there or thereabouts in about sixth or seventh I would say.

“The times are very difficult to judge with the red flag coming out when the GPS system went down.

“Overall, there is still a lot of work for us this weekend to get to a position to score points, it’s not a given.”

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Motorsport journalist, indyCar correspondent and F1 writer for Total-Motorsport.com
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