Despite a disappointing debut for its much-anticipated upgrade package, Guenther Steiner insists that the team is moving in the right direction.
Ahead of its COTA debut, both Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg had been keen to play down the significance of the upgrade which included a new front corner, floor, floor edge, sidepod inlets and engine cover, insisting that it was no magic bullet.
Whether, like Aston Martin, the American team was wrong in choosing a Sprint weekend on which to introduce the upgrade, or not, the fact is that far from taking a step forward, the team appeared to take a step back, with Magnussen making it into Q2 by the skin of his teeth, and neither driver scoring points in the Sprint or Grand Prix.
Nonetheless, Guenther Steiner remains positive.
“Thank God we made the decision to go out of the pit lane with the changed aero set up,” said the Italian at race end, after his team opted to follow Aston Martin’s example and start from the pitlane after making changes to its cars under parc ferme conditions.
“Obviously, we now need to look at the data and stuff like this to have a better starting position in Mexico with the setup,” he added.
“We were a little bit behind, knowing that we only had one hour. It’s not like saying that we did a bad job, it was just very tight, such a big upgrade. But we knew the risk, and we took the risk, but I think we know for sure a lot more now than we did before. And hopefully we can put it into performance in Mexico.”
Asked about the upgrade’s potential, he admitted: “I don’t know how good it is yet. But at least both drivers could race some people today, because the last five races we were just being overtaken. At least we could overtake some people today.
“Are we good enough? No! We need to get more out of it. But at least we’re moving in the right direction.”