Mick Schumacher had a massive crash in qualifying at the Jeddah test last month, and did not start the race as the team felt it was best to take time to rebuild the spare chassis for Melbourne .
That work has now been completed, although the American team made use of one of its curfew exceptions to work late on Wednesday night at the revamped Albert Park.
The crashed chassis is on its way to the team’s UK headquarters to be repaired so that it can be used again at any event on the calendar.
“It was pretty tough on the guys,” Haas boss Guenther Steiner told Motorsport.com. “Last night we broke curfew because the mechanics wanted to get ahead for this morning, so tonight we don’t have to go past it. Breaking curfew was worth it to be in a good starting point.”
“You have to provide all the pieces that you can at the moment. You can’t bring more, there is nothing in stock anymore. Everything you have, you bring it here,” revealed the head of the Americans.
“But there is no spare chassis, there is no safety net, so we have to be careful. If not, we will start again with one car,” said the Italian manager.
Steiner believes that, once checked to perfection at the factory, the crashed chassis can be used again for the next event in Imola in two weeks’ time.
“The chassis came back yesterday by plane,” he explained. “He had to come here for customs declarations, in the end it was paperwork. Right now I think he’s stuck in Singapore based on the email I just got.”
“It will be repaired, so we hope to have it back for Imola as a spare chassis. I think it’s ok, the side impact structure needs to be changed, it needs to be painted, it has a small dent, but the chassis can be repaired.”
Although he will have a new gearbox when he takes to the track on Friday, Schumacher will still use the full Ferrari power unit fitted to his car at the time of the Jeddah accident.
Steiner is confident that there will be no problems with it, despite the heavy impact: “They have to turn it on now, but they have checked the pressure of everything, and Ferrari is very happy.”
Schumacher has never raced at the tricky Albert Park circuit before, but Haas’s boss is not afraid that the German doesn’t know the circuit.
“Last year he raced on a lot of new circuits, so this season there aren’t as many like that,” he said. “This is one of them, but I don’t think that’s a big deal for him, it’s just catching up.”
“And we’ve got Kevin [Magnussen] now too, he was here before, so he knows the track well, so Mick can look at his data. You speed up if you have a guy who knows what he’s doing.”