Haas not planning major updates for Spanish GP

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Haas Formula 1 team chief Guenther Steiner says that there are no major updates planned for the VF-16 car at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

As the first European event of the season, the race in Barcelona often heralds the arrival of a number of significant update packages for teams.

Steiner confirmed that Haas had no major update package planned for the race, but would instead be fitting new parts throughout its debut season.

“It’s just about making developments to make the car go faster, and how you do that is everybody’s own secret,” Steiner said.

“We’ve made a few changes to the car. We’ve got a new front wing that we tested for the first time in Russia, and we’ve got a new rear wing that we’ll race for the first time in Barcelona.

“We won’t have big changes on a set schedule. We’ll introduce new parts when we feel we’ve made enough gains.

“New parts from our development will trickle in every few races, just like every other team does.”

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will be the first track that Haas’ car has been driven at on multiple occasions following pre-season testing at the end of February and beginning of March.

As a result, Steiner believes that the team will be able to compare the data with that of its maiden run in testing and get a true gauge of how far it has come.

“It’s one of the things we look forward to because we can compare what we’ve got now with what we started off with,” Steiner said.

“We finally have something to compare ourselves to. On all the other tracks, we’ve got no data at all, and we’ll have no data at all until we come back next year. So, it’s quite nice to go to Barcelona.”

Malcolm Stewart sidelined by knee surgery for ‘extended duration’

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The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.

“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.

“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”

Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.

He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.

The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.

“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.

“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”

Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.

A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.