Haas F1 to engage in development war

Last week I saw a news blurb from a source I don’t normally get too anxious over so I didn’t say much but this weekend I did read a source I respect very much in the form of Mr. Jonathan Noble over at Motorsport. He may re-tweet a few folks I don’t always agree with but as for his work, he’s always been a guy I felt was on the nail.

The issue at hand and now addressed by Jonathan’s piece is the lingering question of Haas F1 and its development. We brought this up quite some time ago on our podcast and contemplated the reality of battling against the development progress of McLaren, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Williams F1.

The reason I mentioned it was that the original news source I read said they were not developing the car and that what they unboxed in Australia is what they would finish the season with. Now, I doubted that veracity of that story but there could be a little in it and perhaps some was lost in translation. As Mr. Noble reports, team boss Guenther Steiner said:

“We will have developments coming,” he explained. “But I don’t know exactly how we commit to them because our strategy first is to find out what we can get out of this car. We still don’t know this car, really.

“I think there is more potential in the car that we haven’t discovered, and once we have got a stable platform, we will put on developments. But maybe we have got the next race already some developments.”

“We are not standing still,” he said. “Will we have developments every race? No, obviously not. But we will not sit still and not do anything, because then you fall back and it is automatic.

“So we will not have as much development as the big teams, but we will be in the ballpark with all the other teams in the midfield.”

I can see where the comment—that they are keen to study their current car more and understand how it works prior to throwing money at new kit—could lead to some misunderstanding. The logic in this statement makes perfect sense by anyone’s measure but it could have been misconstrued in the translation…who knows?

From Jonathan’s article, though, it seems very clear the team are focused on developing the car if/when they understand what truly needs developed and where best to put their efforts. Will they have the resources to develop along with Williams, STR or Red Bull or even McLaren? Well, this could be where their relationship with Ferrari pays dividends once again.

One presumes that any Ferrari engine improvement might be shared and perhaps Dallara are willing to cast, forge and create any new chassis designs the team comes up with. This could keep the team right up front with the rest of the midfield and in the points.

Having started in the points for the first two races, it’s a shame they won’t get a payday at the end of the year with Formula 1 prize money but the finishing position is important as the payout covers multiple year performance.

All of this is adding to the story of Haas F1. Its starting to read like a great book:

The Road to Instant F1 Success
By Gene Haas

“ *****…stunningly good read ”
– Pat Symonds


It’s a book I look forward to reading with reviews and endorsements like that.

Hat Tip: Motorsport