Competitors beware is the message that the Haas F1 team has sent out to all its rivals, as the American squad confirm they have more performance ready to be unleashed in the upcoming rounds.
Following a dream start to their debut F1 season, scoring a sixth and fifth place finish in the first two rounds of their campaign with Frenchman Romain Grosjean, the F1 rookies currently lay fifth overall in the constructor’s championship, a feat they must have had to pinch themselves to believe after the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Haas Team Principal and former Red Bull man, Guenther Steiner, believes they have the knowledge and equipment to continue posing a threat to the rest of the grid, despite not having the budget of some of its more established rivals. Speaking to motorsport.com the Italian advised:
“We will have developments coming, but I don’t know exactly how we commit to them because our strategy first is to find out what we can get out of this car. We still don’t know this car, really.”
“I think there is more potential in the car that we haven’t discovered, and once we have got a stable platform, we will put on developments. But maybe we have got the next race already some developments.”
“We are not standing still. Will we have developments every race? No, obviously not. But we will not sit still and not do anything, because then you fall back and it is automatic.”
“So we will not have as much development as the big teams, but we will be in the ballpark with all the other teams in the midfield.”
Due to their unique relationship with Ferrari, the Haas F1 team have been able to come into F1 and immediately pose a challenge. Some, including their competitors, believe this is an unfair and unsporting way of doing things, but others argue that it is the master stroke of a genius.
Haas receive their power via the PU supplied by the Maranello based squad as well as transmission, parts and support to aid them in their first season of F1. Use of the Ferrari wind tunnel whenever required, was also part of the deal. As has been shown from start-up teams such as HRT, Virgin, Caterham and Marussia in the past, it is extremely hard to get your foot in the door and successfully compete with the F1 big boys on your own, so when Gene Haas saw a way in without having to deal with all the stress, strain and costs himself he took it, and his gamble has seemingly paid off. This solution has made the jump into F1 much easier to achieve for the Haas F1 team, using a business model that perhaps other teams currently in Formula One or those thinking of making a move into the sport, should consider.
The exclusive project could now open the doors for others, who having seen how accomplished the team have been even in the early days of their campaign, now believe joining F1 is a distinct possibility and worth the huge effort involved. More teams on the grid is what Formula One has been crying out for and Haas ingenuity should be applauded, rather than criticised – underestimate them at your peril.