2022 Spanish Grand Prix
Haas brought two cars into the top ten, one Alfa Romeo. Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen were a tenth slower than Lewis Hamilton. While Alfa Romeo celebrated the success of the upgrade, Haas celebrated its efficiency.
Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes usually leave four places in the third quarter for the rest of the field. Three of these have been taken up by Ferrari customer teams. Two Haas and one Sauber made it to the last knockout round. Valtteri Bottas missed Lewis Hamilton’s time in sixth by just 0.096 seconds. Team summary: “Despite the poor net position compared to Miami, we are getting better. We are closer to the top teams.”
Alfa Romeo brought a major upgrade to Barcelona. It was the second this season. The Swiss know that with the C42 they have a fast car that can score points regularly. With the development offensive early in the season, Sauber wants to solidify their position and build a points base they may have to build on later.
Four tenths to upgrade the monster
Team boss Frédéric Vasseur sees no reason why you shouldn’t shoot most of your powder in development early in the season: “If the engineers had good ideas and the team could implement them, why should I wait three races? A faster car for the entire race, we want to reap the rewards now because our plan is It is the switch to the 2023 car early.”
On paper, changes to the front spoiler, rear spoiler, suspension, rearview mirror, hood and cooling vents promised four-tenths. And they all made it to the ring. Although Bottas had to lay off training on Friday due to engine damage. As a result, the driver and engineers lost important data and information about the converted car. His teammate Guanyu Zhou is only driving 50 percent of the new aerodynamic package. It will only be completed in Baku.
Invisible upgrade in Haas
Haas made up for the Miami accidents. For the first time since the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, both US Ferraris reached the third quarter. And that’s despite the fact that the US racing team in Barcelona was the only team to do so without promotions. Team boss Guenther Steiner was even happier: “Where are the others who started with new semis? We didn’t do anything more than they did. That’s called efficiency.”
Indeed, Haas had a minor modification in his luggage, but it remained invisible. The undercarriages of both cars have been reinforced. Soon, the recoil completely disappeared. “We can go lower and lower with the ground clearance, and the cars get faster and faster. The engineers themselves could hardly believe it,” said Steiner, amused. Kevin Magnussen praised: “Sometimes a good setup is worth more than the biggest promotion.”
Schumacher loses training session
While the Dane always went one lap easily without shivering, and in the end was almost as fast as Bottas, Mick Schumacher needed a lap time omitted from Lando Norris to advance to Q3. The gap of about seven tenths partly explains the fact that Schumacher was only a spectator in the third training session. An input error in the wire brake software caused a large fire to the rear right brake. Brake calipers, brake cap and suspension parts were burnt out.
Magnussen wasn’t without problems either. Problems with the DRS slowed him down several times during training. “Kevin had to press the button twice,” the engineers said. “That’s why the wing opened late.” Magnussen thinks that otherwise a fifth place would have been possible.
However, two hours after qualifying, a summons from the FIA arrived in the Haas mailbox. Both pilots worried about their starting positions for three hours. Schumacher and Magnussen were summoned to the sport’s commissioners because they drove unnecessarily slowly in the warm-up. And Alpine Operations Director Alan Berman was excited: “They weren’t very slow with three or four seconds, but 20 people following the rules were being punished with very hot tires on the fast lap.” Sports commissioners turn a blind eye. Both drivers fled with a warning. Perhaps also because otherwise far too many drivers would have had to be punished. The FIA counted 55 violations by 18 drivers.