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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.”

Eriksson snatches Macau Formula 3 pole from Norris

FIA F3 Europe
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Joel Eriksson snatched pole position for Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of the Macau Grand Prix after a thrilling fight with McLaren youngster Lando Norris and Ferrari junior Callum Ilott.

Norris headed into the second stage of qualifying on provisional pole after lapping almost a second faster than any other driver in Thursday’s first opening session, and remained in contention early in Q2.

Norris was the first driver to dip into the 2:10s with a time of 2:10.744, only for Eriksson to go 0.024 seconds faster minutes later and snatch pole away.

Despite a later effort to try and reclaim pole, Norris was unable to improve his time, and opted to remain in the pits for the final five minutes of the session after using up his allocated tires.

Ilott was the final driver to put in a serious bid for pole position, falling 0.09 seconds short with his final qualifying lap to sit third on the grid for the qualifying race.

Maximilian Gunther claimed fourth place for Prema Powerteam ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Dan Ticktum, with Mick Schumacher taking P7.

Yuhi Sekiguchi wound up eighth despite a late crash that brought out a red flag, while Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou completed the top 10 positions in qualifying.

Saturday’s qualifying race will help form the grid for Sunday’s main event, the 64th Macau Grand Prix.