Steiner wants his drivers to have clean Sprint Qualifying

Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, Uralkali Haas F1 Team, Sunday at the Austrian Grand Prix. Credits: Haas F1 Team.

Haas’ team principal Guenther Steiner will instruct his drivers to keep it clean during Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying.

The Sprint Qualifying session is to be a shorter race and is expected to last for 30 minutes. During this time, drivers will be hoping to push flat-out to get the best starting position for Sunday’s Grand Prix. Given the unique nature of the new format, drivers are unaware of the potential strategic options for Saturday. Nikita Mazepin hopes that the event is a longer qualifying session with drivers pushing the car to its limit for the whole 30 minutes.

“I’m not sure what to expect from the Sprint Qualifying format. I think Formula 1 has kept the same format for quite a few years and it will be nice to get a new format to try out at Silverstone.”

“With the current tires, you need to plan the amount of laps you’re going to be doing on them. Hopefully, we can push flat-out for the whole time as normally we do not get to do that. Potentially, every lap will be like a qualifying lap for that short period.”

Haas drivers Schumacher and Mazepin have been involved in a few heated incidents on track while fighting for the spots on the grid earlier in the season. Steiner hopes that the new format does not increase their woes with either driver crashing out in Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying.

“I think for sure the drivers will race hard because in qualifying everyone races hard and this is a sprint race which defines the qualifying positions. On Sunday, when points are at stake, you want to be in the best position to start the race as you can.”

“From our side, this year it’s all about learning. So running the race, having a few more race starts during the year because of sprint qualifying format will be an advantage [for] next year. On the sprint, I will tell them to keep their noses clean and keep the cars on the track.”

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