The Formula One 2021 season might be over and the 2022 season not too far away, but now is a good time to a look back at each of the teams individually and how their season went. Going in reverse Constructor’s Championship order starting with Haas.
Before the season even started there were not high expectations. Haas made it quite clear that they would not be developing their car at all through the year, with their main focus on the 2022 car for the big regulation changes.
The VF-21 itself was just the previous years car with a few tweaks for the regulation changes and Haas had not really developed that car through 2020!
It definitely didn’t bode well for their season. However, this year wasn’t their focus at all and they had no intention of wasting money and time developing the car.
Possibly the biggest talking point about the Haas team was their two rookie drivers. The 2020 Formula Two Champion Mick Schumacher and fellow F2 driver Nikita Mazepin.
Mazepin was seen as a pay driver, bringing in significant Russian sponsorship money from his dad. He was never a title contender in F2 but he won some races in his time so clearly had a good level of ability.
Mick was the driver with most of the limelight placed on him. Son of seven time world champion Michael Schumacher and a product of the Ferrari Driver Academy, with the long term goal of seeing him join Ferrari.
You have a team with a car that was going to be at the very back of the grid with two rookies driving it. One of those drivers having every moment analysed to see if he could stand up to the reputation of his dad!
As expected, the car was the slowest on the grid. Occasionally up to three seconds a lap slower than the cars at the front of the grid. However, right from the start there appeared to be a gap between the drivers.
Mick seemed to have the edge over Mazepin from the first race. If you look at the results for qualifying and races, Mick was able to easily beat him without external factors becoming involved.
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It is what was expected by the majority of people before the season, but it was a bit of a double edged sword. Everyone expected him to beat Mazepin but at the same time they didn’t give much credit to Mazepin, so no one still knows how good Mick is.
It’s difficult when you’re not racing other teams as there’s little indication of whether Mick is as good as people hope he is. People love the fairy tale of him taking his place at Ferrari and winning like his father.
As the season progressed the car didn’t improve but the team as a whole did. Haas used this season to focus on understanding the car and putting in place different operation techniques. The team also focused on getting the drivers to understand what is needed from them to develop cars.
It worked, as the season went on the gap to cars ahead came down slightly as the team were getting the maximum out of their car at every opportunity. Whereas other teams, who had done some development, were still learning elements of their car at each race and didn’t maximise their cars.
Considering their low goals for the year, seeing it as a transitional year, the season was actually a success for Haas. You do have to look at them in isolation and not compare them to the other teams on the grid.
Haas F1 2022
It potentially bodes well for next year. If they have a more competitive car, with the operational improvements in the team, added to a full year of experience for the drivers, hopefully it will help them compete.
The upper midfield is probably a bit too much of a leap. Back in the midfield and fighting for points would be a good step. It would be just reward for what was a very difficult season for them.
Next season points have to be their goal. Otherwise their team owner (Gene Haas) could start considering his future options for F1 and whether to pull out.
This season was very difficult, but did have high points and the one that stands out was Turkey.
With tricky conditions in qualifying. Mick put in a fantastic lap to get himself into Q2 in 14th place, capitalising on the adverse weather conditions.
It wasn’t the only time Mick got into Q2. He also managed it in France but crashed into the wall at the end of Q1. This brought out a red flag stopping other drivers from trying to beat their times. Whereas in Turkey he escaped Q1 purely on pace.
In Turkey, Q2 wasn’t as amazing. However, Sainz didn’t set a time and Schumacher did start 14th in the race. Inevitably, he fell back in the race, overtaken by quicker cars.
Another high point was in Hungary. For the first few laps, Schumacher battled with a number of drivers due to the unique starting incidents there. He was never realistically going to keep them behind, but it’s nice to see him go wheel-to-wheel. Hopefully 2022 will bring more opportunities for wheel-to-wheel racing for Mazepin and Schumacher with the other teams.
Overall the season wasn’t great. A lot could be considered low points, but it’s harsh to detail them here. Low points for other teams were standard results for Haas!
What do you think were the High and Low points for Haas F1? Let us know below!
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