Haas F1 Team principal Guenther Steiner has insisted that the squad won’t make the same sort of mistakes that plagued its 2019 campaign.
Having made its debut on the grid in 2016, the American team peaked in fifth place in the 2018 constructors championship, only to slump to ninth at the end of last year following a series of problems with the VF-19.
But Steiner said that Haas had learned valuable lessons from the experience and had adjusted its approach for 2020 as a result.
“I’m taking things on board,” he told the media this week. “We are not going to make mistakes like last season.
“We are working a little bit different,” he continued. “There can still be mistakes, but I think if I would say we didn’t learn our lesson and be stupid like last year that wouldn’t make me feel great.
“We learned our lesson. We are humble, and we’ll try to be like two years ago again. Let’s speak about two years ago.”
Steiner was happy that his drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were making “the right noises” about this year’s car.
“Obviously a driver is never happy, and especially if you think what happened to us last year,” he acknowledged. “We were very happy with it, then it is ended up not to be good!
“Everybody’s very cautious. We are very cautious in our prediction for this season,” he noted. “We don’t want to be, ‘It’s all good, it’s all good’ and then fall hard.
“We do a diligent job and try to do the best and see where it takes us,” he said, adding that last season’s slump might even work in the team’s favour when it comes to the this year’s campaign.
“We are a little bit of a dark horse because we play it different,” he pointed out. “We change around a lot of things. Normally here there is a pattern in it, and we’re changing the pattern a little bit.”
Grosjean said he was looking forward to getting back to work again after the winter lay-off.
“I love the Albert Park circuit and I love Australia and the city of Melbourne. To me it’s one of the best races of the season. I’m happy to go down to Australia every year.
“I’ve had some good qualifying sessions there, I’ve always been pretty much in the top 10, with a couple of exceptions.
“The races, yes, my luck hasn’t been good in Australia,” he admitted. “I’ve got the feeling things will be different this year and I’m looking forward to it.”