Heading into the Haas F1 Team’s home race at the Circuit of the Americas, team owner Gene Haas feels their sophomore season has been a lot harder than their rookie campaign of 2016, even if they’ve scored more points this season than last.
Having scored twenty-nine points during their debut season, Haas have already got forty-three points in 2017 with four races remaining, but Haas feels the level of competition this year exceeds that seen in 2016.
“It seems harder than last year,” said Haas to Motorsport.com. “I think the teams have all gotten a lot better. Certainly Honda has picked up the pace, and Renault is better, and Toro Rosso is always good.
“There are no laggards in this business at all, so in order to get ahead of your competitors you’ve just got to be good, and that’s hard.”
Haas was delighted with the six points the team scored last time out in Japan, with Kevin Magnussen eighth and Romain Grosjean ninth, but with the latter crashing during qualifying, it was a great job also by the mechanics to get his car fixed and ready to race.
“It’s always good to get points,” Haas added. “Six points – it’s amazing how hard they work to get that. But it’s very gratifying to be able to run in that midfield and to be able to actually execute and complete to get those points.
“It was a tough weekend. Grosjean wrecked his car in qualifying, so they were scrambling to put it back together. The good news was that we had almost half a day to repair it, a few hours on Saturday and a whole morning on Sunday.
“They did a great job. Fortunately they didn’t have to take the engine off, so we didn’t have to upset any of those connections, but still you’re always wondering when it goes out for the first time after major repairs is it going to hold together?”