Haas F1 Team boss Guenther Steiner says his team’s intense battle with Renault Sport and Racing Point Force India has not hindered the development of their 2019 car.
The former Jaguar Racing team principle has enjoyed his most successful season yet in charge of the American outfit with both driver Kevin Magnusssen and the team battling for the ‘best-of-the-rest’ crown.
Steiner is adamant that despite Haas’ ‘intense’ 2018 ‘B-Championship’ challenge, the progress of next season’s car has not suffered.
“The development for our 2019 car is coming along nicely,” said Steiner.
“As I always say, as much as I can be happy with what we are doing and what our team is doing to develop, I have no idea what the other teams are doing and how far down the line they are.
“I have no idea how much aero development they’ve done and the downforce they’ve achieved. The only way we will see that is in Spain next year when we go testing in February.
“We consciously decided before the summer break to develop the 2019 car, so the midfield battle doesn’t distract us at all.”
Aero changes for 2019 have forced teams to change their approach for next season in the run up to 2021’s engine regulation overhaul, a regulation change which is still somewhat unclear for the teams.
“The regulations for the engines in 2021 are not completely decided yet. There are still talks going on. In principle, I think the engines will be staying the same as they are now, or very close to it. I think the manufacturers are working to save some costs. But, the decision has not been made yet.
“I think we’ve achieved a good level of noise. To be a little bit noisier would be nice, but I think we’re good where we are.
“It’s a very important element in this because for 2021 we’re trying to introduce a cost cap. The engine is a big cost factor for each team. The lower it is, the better it is, as we can make more developments somewhere else.
“As soon as we get the regulations – and there is no defined date yet when we will get them – we will decide when we put focus on the 2021 car. We obviously have to manage the cars we are racing, and if the regulations come out in 2019, we still need to develop our car for 2020. Until we have the final regulations – technical and sporting – we cannot make a decision on when we start development on the 2021 car.”
With only two races remaining Haas are fifth in the constructors standing and are just thirty points behind ‘best-of-the-rest’ rivals, Renault.
Following the United States Grand Prix last month, Haas announced a new title partner for 2019, energy drink, Rich Energy.
This week they have also announced new partnerships with Peak Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid, as the team look to increase their competitiveness for next season.
“I think it says it all. With success, you get interest from companies to partner up with you because you get good exposure. Everybody likes to be with successful people.
“It’s very tense in the midfield, and I think it’s a very interesting battle. I would always like to be on top of the battle, but it changes all the time, and you’re really focused on that one during every practice, qualifying and race to see how close you are to your nearest competitor.”