Guenther Steiner has one very simple, specific instruction for Haas’ rookie drivers at the Monaco Grand Prix – keep it clean.
Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin face their most difficult challenge since entering Formula 1 this season with three days on the narrow streets of Monte Carlo, highlighted by an arduous 78-lap race likely to last for around an hour and three-quarters.
It is a circuit where the slightest mistake can be ruinous, and the two youngsters have already been in their share of scrapes in the early stages of their debut season.
Schumacher hit the wall while warming his tyres behind the Safety Car at Imola, while Mazepin has been involved in numerous incidents already – including a race-ending spin just three corners into his Bahrain bow.
Steiner, the Haas team principal, has consistently reinforced the message that this is a learning year for his drivers with a view to them being more competitive in 2022, and Monaco threatens to accelerate their education more rapidly than most other venues.
“Once you are in the barriers in Monaco, your session is lost. You can’t get the car back and it’s normally pretty damaged anyway.
“The challenge is big. It’s a very tight circuit, obviously a street circuit, and you’ve got lots of people watching – everything you don’t want on a race like this. On the other side, you do want it though, that’s why we are doing it.
“There should be little pressure on the drivers there as we know our performance. They should be looking at the race just to gain experience so that when they return with a better car, they will have learned how to deal with Monaco – which is obviously a very special race in the Formula 1 calendar.”