Günther Steiner already feared a few weeks ago that Haas would have a hard time against Williams in the WRC – This prediction seems to be coming true
As if he had suspected it: Haas team boss Günther Steiner already declared immediately after the end of the summer break of the 2023 Formula One season that he was “not confident” that his team would finish ahead of Williams in the Constructors’ World Championship this year.
At the time, both teams had eleven points each and were battling for seventh place in the championship. Two races later, Williams is now ten points ahead of Haas because Alexander Albon finished eighth at Zandvoort and then seventh at Monza.
While Williams have scored ten points since the summer break, Haas haven’t had a top-10 finish in a major race since Kevin Magnussen’s tenth place in Miami at the beginning of May. That was more than four months ago.
“Williams is doing very well,” Steiner praised before the Zandvoort race and emphasised: “Our goal is to use our material in the best possible way every weekend. We managed to do that for long stretches. We just need a better pace.”
“We are working very hard on that,” Steiner said, explaining that the “goal” now is “to understand where the journey has to go for 2024.” Or to put it another way: Haas wants to use the remaining races of the 2023 season to already prepare for next year.
There is to be a major update for the VF-23 for the home race in Austin, with which they then already want to set the course for 2024. “And even if the results [with the update] are not immediately positive, we can build on that,” Steiner explains.
At rival Williams, on the other hand, there will be no major upgrade for the FW45 this year. “Unlike Haas, nothing more is coming from us for the rest of the year. So we have to look to take the points at every opportunity,” says team boss James Vowles.
He reveals, “Our focus is on 2024, has been for some time. And actually we’re already partly focused on 2025 and 2026. At the moment we’re fighting for seventh to tenth [in the constructors’ championship]. It’s a tough battle.”
And Williams now has the advantage of being ten points ahead of Haas. Günther Steiner’s confidence in catching the team from Grove has therefore probably not increased …