Haas F1 Team team principal Guenther Steiner has said that team has learned from the errors which saw the team struggle in the 2019 season.
Despite a promising start to the season, Haas fell apart in the second half of 2019 as the VF-19 struggled to keep up in the tight midfield battle, whilst off the track the team’s main sponsor Rich Energy bolted for a bizarre exit which saw the company mock the team on twitter.
Steiner hopes that the character-building season will pay dividends if Haas wishes to go back up into the top five of the constructor’s championship.
“Obviously, after a season like 2019, it’s good to get going again with a fresh start.,” said Steiner. “We realized last year, in the middle of the season, that we needed to do something different for 2020, and we did. We’ve just tried to apply into the new car some of the things we learned at the end of the season when we had development parts on the car.”
Steiner also praised the Haas staff at the team’s three bases of operations in Italy, the US and Great Britain saying the team are doing a great job in getting the VF-20 built for testing.
“Operating across three countries on two continents is never easy. I give a lot of credit to our people, they put all this into a very fluid process. I haven’t been to car build, they don’t need me there, they’re doing a great job.
“Now in our fifth year, it’s a lot less cumbersome than in previous years, especially the first year back in 2016 – it was particularly difficult, but that’s normal. I’m really proud of the job they’re doing to assemble the car.”
2020 will see Haas enter its fifth Formula 1 campaign with Steiner looking back fondly on when the team launched it’s first car the VF-16 at testing in 2016.
“There’ll never be another moment in life for me to mirror when we debuted the VF-16 in 2016 as a brand-new team in Barcelona. Everybody had been looking at us and our credibility level was very low, as the new teams that had gone before hadn’t done very well, most of them by then was out of business.
“People were very sceptical. We did a good job and tested like a team that had been operating for months. We had a lot of fantastic people working for us. There’s no additional pressure in testing, it’s more of a relief to be going out there testing. You at least then have something to work on, and you can focus on what you need to do, and what to do better than the season before”.