Shift of Development Focus to 2018 Car has Cost Haas Momentum in 2017 – Steiner


Credit: Haas F1 Team

Guenther Steiner feels the recent difficulties for the Haas F1 Team are down to the halting of the development of the VF17 in order to focus on its successor for the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were the slowest qualifiers during the Mexican Grand Prix, even qualifying behind the Sauber F1 Team who are running with 2016 Ferrari engines, with Steiner, the team principal of the American team feeling their decision to stop work on their 2017 machine has now cost them dearly across the final races of the season.

“We stopped a bit early, in hindsight,” said Steiner to Danish publication Ekstra Bladet. “We took a decision to change focus to the 2018 car because we wanted to make some fundamental changes that we could not transfer 100 per cent from this car.

“Should we have done that? I don’t know. I don’t know what the teams that further developed their 2017 car can carry over to their 2018 car.”

Steiner says it will only be when testing gets underway in February that Haas will find out whether stopping the development of their 2017 car so early was justified, but at least they have given themselves a good amount of time to make gains on those teams around them.

“The verdict will only come in February when we test, whether it was worth it or not,” admitted Steiner. “We will only find out when we see them all on the track.

“Right now we have a nice wind tunnel model with a lot of numbers.”