Gene Haas says the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season will go a long way to determining whether or not the Haas F1 Team remains in the sport beyond the end of the year.
2020 will be the fifth year of Haas in the sport but they are yet to finish on the podium, with Romain Grosjean’s fourth place in the Austrian Grand Prix in 2018 their best result to date. The team fell from fifth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2018 to a lowly ninth last year, and another poor year will likely see the team drop off the grid.
Haas, the Team Owner of the American outfit, says committing to another five years would be a big commitment, and at this time he is still undecided whether to remain on the grid or pull out at the end of the season.
“I’m just kind of waiting to see how this season starts off,” said Haas to Motorsport.com. “If we have another bad year, then it would not be that favourable [to stay].
“We did five years. That was really the test – we’re going to do this for five years, see how it goes and evaluate it and then we’ll decide whether to go forward.
“I’m not saying we won’t be back. It has to be evaluated. To do it for another five years, though, that would be a big commitment.”
‘Our Car Certainly Wasn’t the Fastest Out There’
Looking back over pre-season testing, Haas admits the team were not the fastest out there, but there is hope that they can have a competitive season in 2020, unlike what happened last year when Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen scored just twenty-eight points between them.
“Our car certainly wasn’t the fastest out there,” said Haas. “We were midfield. Several years ago, the midfield was like five seconds apart.
“This year they were about two seconds from each other, maybe even closer than that. I think really the only good news was that we weren’t really that much slower than the Ferraris, but the Ferraris weren’t at the top of the scoreboards every day, either.
“It’s just a challenge. It’s a difficult sport. It’s extremely expensive. It’s time consuming and it puts a huge amount of stress on the teams to compete. It’s not really beneficial to the teams that aren’t in the top four or five.”