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Haas’ Steiner largely backs new 2021 engine concept

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In the wake of Formula 1’s new planned 2021 engine formula, the first details of which were announced last week, Haas F1 Team principal Guenther Steiner has largely backed the FIA’s proposal.

Some manufacturers scoffed at the details though, and Ferrari itself even issued a quit threat although this was over Liberty’s series plans, not the new engine regulations.

Haas, a Ferrari customer team, has sought to increase its standing past the levels of Formula 1’s upper midfield and Steiner admitted in the team’s Brazilian Grand Prix advance most of the basics are there with the new concept. But the details will need a bit more working out in the months to come.

“They’ve tried to achieve the things they set out with more noise, more equality and lower costs. That is the aim of it,” Steiner said.

“I think they’ve thrown out a good concept to start off with. Now the details can be worked out by the technical people. The concept is out there and I don’t think the concept will be changed. But now they need to work on the detail of the concept to achieve the goals they’ve set themselves with more noise, more equality and lower costs for the customer teams. Hopefully, they can achieve it.”

Noise has of course been one of the talking points since the introduction of the 1.6L V6 turbocharged period in 2014. The goal of making the engines louder would be due to a planned 3000rpm higher running speed range.

“The noise – if you don’t have it, you think it’s not important because it’s just noise,” Steiner said. “If you hear a V10 or a V12 going by, when you see these historic cars, it sounds beautiful. I think a lot of people like the noise. I don’t think we’ll get to that noise of a V10 or a V12, because you have a turbo on it.

“You can improve, and the aim is with making the rev limit 3,000 rpm higher than the current engine, it can be achieved to be noisier. I think it will never be like it was. A little bit noisier is good because I think it’s great for the fans to hear a car coming from far away.”

Noise is one element and another Steiner outlined was cost, and trying to keep the costs down.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the most important. It’s as important as the other ones because even if it’s cheap, if people don’t like the engine, why would we do it?” he asked.

“There needs to be a compromise between what the fans like, which is noise, and new manufacturers coming in, which is what people want. The cost element is also important for new people, for current people, and for the teams which don’t make their own engines, like us. It’s part of what we need to do to change Formula One to be better.”

Steiner said he hopes F1 will get the full technical regulations finalized by the end of 2018 to begin a two-year development process.

Drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, meanwhile, hope to lift Haas from eighth in the Constructor’s Championship over the final two races. Haas has scored 47 points, 18 more than it did in its debut season, and is six points behind sixth-placed Toro Rosso and only one behind seventh-placed Renault.

Eriksson snatches Macau Formula 3 pole from Norris

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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.