Tag Archives: Haas F1 Team

A ‘Win’ for Haas F1 Team in Australia

Haas F1 Team takes P6 on their debut race in Australia  Photo: Peter Habicht

Haas F1 Team takes P6 on their debut race in Australia Photo: Peter Habicht

Romain Grosjean’s spectacular drive at the opening race of the 2016 season has signaled a strong return for America in Formula 1 with newcomers Haas F1 Team.

Taking 6th from 19th place on the grid at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend to score 8 points on the team’s debut, Grosjean said that it the race “feels like a win” for the team, who ran two cars for the first time ever together this weekend, having built a second after testing concluded in Barcelona just weeks ago.

“For all the guys who worked so hard over the last few weeks, this is unbelievable…The guys did an amazing job and I told them, this is like a win for all of us. First race and here we are, P6. A happy day.”

Team mate Esteban Gutierrez started from 20th, but was struck from behind and hit the barrier after McLaren Honda driver Fernando Alonso ran into the back of his car on lap 17. The result was a spectacular crash which saw Alonso hurtle over a gravel trap and into the barrier at terrific speed. Both drivers were out and emerged unhurt, with Alonso later remarking he got out of his car not knowing where he was on the track. The race was stopped as a result, with all cars coming back into pit lane.

McLaren Honda driver Fernando Alonso walks back from his collision with Esteban Gutierrez to speak with Gene Haas   Photo: Peter Habicht

McLaren Honda driver Fernando Alonso walks back from his collision with Esteban Gutierrez to speak with Gene Haas Photo: Peter Habicht

Preparation met opportunity while the cars were stopped, and the only work allowed to be performed by the teams was a change of tires before the restart of the race. After starting the race on Pirelli soft compound tires, Grosjean’s car was then fitted with medium compound tires, whose lack of traction but increased wear rating gave him the ability to skip a second pit stop – if he could make his tires last.

Holding off his rivals from much more seasoned teams, 39 laps later, Grosjean crossed the finish line to win 8 points for both himself and the team. This makes Haas F1 Team the first new constructor in Formula 1 to win points on their debut race since Toyota’s win in 2002, and the first American Formula 1 team to compete in 30 years.

Team owner Gene Haas was also pleased with the result after a spectacular debut, with aims to finish higher in the points in the future:

“We didn’t win it, but finishing 6th I think validates the fact that we have a team that can compete with the big dogs.”

America is certainly back in Formula 1, and has taken on the challenge head on.

“At the end of the day I think we can compete with these guys, race with them. It says a lot about American know-how, by putting something together we can compete with anybody.”

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Guenther Steiner on Haas F1 Team in Melbourne

Haas F1 Team at the Australian Grand Prix

Haas F1 Team on the pit wall at the Australian Grand Prix

After arriving a week ago, this Thursday in Melbourne has given teams some time to share thoughts on the new season, and Haas F1 Team principal Guenther Steiner spoke with ambition and caution after only just building the team’s second car ahead of their inaugural race.

Since Winter testing finished last month, Steiner mentioned that there have been a few tweaks to prevent cooling issues, and no changes to the cars’ “go fast” parts.  Even after a mixed second week of testing (electrical problems and a turbo related issue limited track time), performance capabilities are beginning to be understood as the team pushes ahead with their chief mechanical and engine supplier, Ferrari.

Several Ferrari personnel are here to oversee their portion of the car’s components, and currently make up the roughly 60 Haas F1 Team members at the race.  Not including contractors, the number is roughly 110 with the factory included, with an additional 70 from chassis manufacturer Dallara and affiliated contractors.  A small total by comparison to the other teams in the paddock.

So how does Steiner expect the team to perform this weekend?

Points are possible, however testing didn’t reveal an optimum setup for Steiner: “…the car is a good platform, but we have to find the right setup.”

Teams are generally managing more unknowns than knowns at the start of the season, and for Haas the goal this weekend is to progress with an open mind, while gathering as much data and validation on the car’s strengths and the team’s ability to work together towards the best possible result.

Luck may play a part, however, as new qualifying rules could provide an opening for teams which get it right – and this year’s format is new for everyone.  A recent change to regulations makes for a timed elimination portion of sessions which is untried by teams and fans alike.

“For us the new qualifying system is better . . . I know that we can mess it up, but so can the others” says Steiner.  Established teams don’t just have to run through a program on Saturday that they’re already familiar with, so new qualifying this weekend may be an equalizer if, as he says, “the stars align”.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Haas F1 Team Signs Esteban Guiterrez as Second Driver

Esteban Gutierrez and Gene Haas at Haas F1 Team's Driver Announcement, Mexico City Image: Haas F1 Team

Esteban Gutierrez and Gene Haas at Haas F1 Team’s Driver Announcement, Mexico City   Image: Haas F1 Team

At last nights friendly gathering of media and society in Mexico City’s Soumaya Museum, Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner confirmed the suspicions of many and announced Esteban Guiterrez as their second driver for Haas F1 Team.

Dressed in full Ferrari team uniform, and with Maurizio Arrivabene and other Ferrari team members in attendance, Guiterrez took questions from the audience, explaining his contribution to the team would be a balance of what he felt would be the best working styles of his current teammates Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen combined.

Guiterrez arrives next season at Haas F1 Team with 38 Grand Prix starts between 2013-2014 with Sauber F1 Team, and is currently Ferrari’s current test driver.

Gene Haas articulated that the teams approach was different to other teams in Formula 1, going on to explain:

“We do not intent to waste money … we intend to win money.”

Afterwards, when asked about turning a profit in Formula 1, Haas explained:

“I think ultimately we will be profitable, we’re not in this sport for a year or two, and I think persistence pays off in racing. We turned a profit in our NASCAR team just recently, so I think we can do the same in Formula 1. Formula 1 brings in billions of dollars, so where there’s money, there’s prize money.”

With the 2016 season fast approaching and a new car under development, Guenther Steiner in conversation was very positive, and mentioned he has been busy on the ground and in the air between Charlotte, the UK, Bologna and Maranello to bring the team’s car to the grid.

1 Comment

Filed under American companies in F1, American teams in F1