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Steiner: Impossible to predict F1’s midfield in closing races

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Haas Formula 1 chief Guenther Steiner believes it is “impossible” to predict the pecking order among the midfield outfits heading into the final four races of the season as the American team bids to hold on to P7 in the constructors’ championship.

Haas has been engaged in a close-knit battle with Williams, Toro Rosso, Renault and McLaren in recent races, with the advantage to be fifth-quickest in F1 swinging between all of the teams at various points.

Haas moved back ahead of Renault in the teams’ standings last time out in Japan thanks to a double-points finish with drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, giving it a boost heading into the final four rounds of the year.

The team now heads to its home race, the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, hopeful of continuing its form, but Steiner does not think there is a magic answer to doing so.

“There is no recipe to that one. We just go out in FP1, see where we are, and go from there,” Steiner said.

“As I always say, to make predictions this year, in the midfield, is impossible. Nobody can predict it. People wrote us off after Malaysia. They said we’d scored the last of our points this year. Then we came back in Japan with two cars in the points.

“Anything can happen. It doesn’t depend only on how we are doing, but how good the other teams are. That’s obvious, but by being so tight, anything can happen.

“Last year we scored a point at COTA and we’ll try to do better this year.”

Steiner made no secret of the motivation the result in Japan offered the team, particularly ahead of what is shaping up to be Haas’ most important race of the year.

“It’s always motivating – what these guys work for is success. For us, success is to be scoring points,” Steiner said.

“We scored with two cars for the second time since we entered Formula One, which is less than two years. Everybody is pumped up and now we come to the United States, the home country of Haas F1 Team.

“For sure it’s motivating and everybody wants to keep it going.”

Dakar Rally Stage 10 video highlights: Cars, Bikes, Trucks, Quads

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After Monday’s Stage 9 was washed out due to weather and impassable course conditions, the 40th Dakar Rally resumed with Stage 10 on Tuesday.

Several top competitors struggled during the course of the stage, with some even being eliminated due to crashes or injuries.

Here’s some of the best video action of the stage, as seen on NBCSN:

BIKES: Matthias Walkner wins Stage 10 of after a major shakeup.

CARS: Carlos Sainz plays it safe in Stage 10

Stephane Peterhansel took the overall stage win while Cars leader Carlos Sainz played it safe and came in third.

TRUCKS: The Netherlands’ Ton van Genugten wins the stage, but Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev, who finished fourth Tuesday, continues to hold the overall lead.

 

QUADS: Nicolas Cavigliasso bests Gonzalez Ferioli in Stage 10, but Ignacio Casale continues to make a push for his second Dakar crown.

Stage 11 is Wednesday and runs from Belen, Argentina to Fiambala, Argentina.