Romain Grosjean believes the attacks on his Haas F1 Team are unjustifiable, and calling the team a ‘Ferrari B-Team’ undermines the hard work the engineers do in designing and building the VF-18.
The Frenchman and team-mate Kevin Magnussen locked out the third row of the grid in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, and were on course for an equally impressive result on race day only to be denied by issues in their pit stops, but the performance raised the eyebrows of some of their rivals, who questioned the legality of the VF-18 and the depth of the technical relationship the American outfit shares with Scuderia Ferrari.
While it is common knowledge that Haas do use components from Ferrari like the engine, gearbox and suspension, all of which they are permitted to do under current Formula 1 regulations, the rest of the car has to be designed in house, and Grosjean insists they are not the Ferrari B-Team but the Haas A-Team.
“It’s the same thing every time we are fast and it was the same thing last year,” Grosjean is quoted as saying by Crash. “We were Ferrari B. We are using the same engine, same gearbox, same suspension, everyone knows the suspension is providing a lot of the flow, so of course there’s going to be similarities.
“But we are building our own car. It’s not nice for the people that work hard and produce the Haas F1 VF-18.”
Grosjean believes the criticism coming their way is unwarranted, and he believes they should be instead praised for the way they’ve stayed within the regulations to provide a strong midfield-running car in just their third season in the sport.
“I think the way we operate the team and the way we’ve created a partnership with Ferrari, it’s good for F1,” said Grosjean. “It shows that you can come and make things look pretty good in a short amount of time.
“Of course, if we had to do everything from zero we wouldn’t be where we are today. We’ve got the parts from Ferrari which is very important for us, so I think it’s a good thing for F1 to show that if you want to come to F1, there’s a way to do it that you can be successful early on.”