Gene Haas expects his new Formula 1 team to ‘surprise people’ when they make their debut in next years World Championship.
The American team-owner admitted that creating his Haas F1 Team has been his biggest challenge in motorsport, but expects that the technical relationship with Ferrari will work in their favour and they will be in a better position to race than other start-up teams have been in recent years.
“Everything takes a lot of time,” said Haas to Motorsport.com. “As much as people think you can put together a team in a few months and go down to the local race hardware store and buy all your parts, it’s really not possible.
“Everything has to be purchased, it has to be engineered, all that takes a surprising amount of time. Everything’s taken a lot longer than we expected. But now that we’ve had enough time to do it we’ll probably be in better shape than a lot of other start-up teams.
“I think that’s what hurt a lot of other teams – this licence becomes available in July, and they had to be testing six months later. That’s impossible, you can’t do that unless you already had a team available that you could draw from.
“We’re starting fresh, but we have a good technical relationship with Ferrari.
“We’re learning things at what almost feels like a snail’s pace, but it gives us time to put together what we want to do. When we go testing in Spain, we’ll surprise people. We’ll be ready.”
Haas feels starting with known quantities due to the technical assistance of Ferrari means they should not suffer the same early reliability issues usually found with start-up teams, feeling they will be reliable straight from the box when they begin their 2016 campaign.
“I don’t think people really understand the complexities of these cars,” added Haas. “I don’t think it’s just an engine issue, it’s also a balance issue between drag and downforce.
“I think the Mercedes car is just much more efficient at putting that together. If the Ferrari engines had more horsepower I don’t think they would be faster.
“The main point is that we’re starting with a known quantity. We know that the suspension is not going to be fragile or break, we know that the transmissions will be durable.
“That’s the biggest problem with most start-ups, just the reliability issues. If we can figure how to torque nuts and blots down we should be very, very reliable.”