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Double finish the target for Haas on debut in Australia


Günther Steiner is targeting a double finish for the new Haas Formula 1 Team when it makes its grand prix debut next weekend.

NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas will see his eponymous team hit the grid for the first time on March 20 when drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean line up to start the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

After an impressive start to testing in Barcelona, expectations for Haas are quite high heading to Melbourne, with debut points even thought to be within its reach.

However, team principal Steiner is remaining realistic, instead focusing on getting both of the team’s cars to the finish line in its first F1 race.

“Our goal is to have both cars finish,” Steiner said. “To show that we can compete and be proud of what we are doing.”

Haas had a more difficult second week of testing as a number of issues limited the mileage of the VF-16 car, but Steiner was comfortable that these problems were resolved and will not reoccur in Australia.

“That’s what testing is for. The good thing is, we had a front wing failure on the very first day and we fixed it within hours and were out on the track again,” Steiner said.

“We had a problem with the brake-by-wire system, but our guys fixed it overnight. We had an electronics issue and had to work through the night to fix it.

“You’re never happy when you don’t go on the track, but we always found fixes to our problems, and Barcelona was the place to do it. We don’t want that in Australia.

“[The team] put in so much effort. It was more than just the two weeks of testing. These guys put in two weeks working day and night before testing to finish the car.

“We’ve had day and night shifts the last four weeks, and they’ve worked well together. They didn’t get stressed out and they never panicked.

“I can’t thank them enough for the work that they did over the past few months.”

The Australian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN on March 20.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”