HAAS IN THE HOUSE
To qualify as a Formula
constructor, Haas F1 must own
the intellectual property to key
components of its car.
While it takes many “off the
shelf” parts from technical
partner Ferrari, which supplies
the powertrain package, as well
as hydraulics and other related
systems, Haas has to produce the
monocoque, survival cell,
front-impact structures, rollover
structures, bodywork, wings,
floor, exhausts, radiators and
diffuser. But that doesn’t mean it
has to produce them in-house.
Haas F1’s headquarters is in
Kannapolis, NC, where CFD and
some machining work is done.
But the race team runs out of the
ex-Marussia base in Banbury, UK.
Windtunnel work is done at
Maranello. That’s less than an
hour from Dallara, the world’s
most prolific production racecar
company, which Haas aligned
with for its car design and build.
Haas has a design office at
Dallara’s Parma base, headed by
ex-Red Bull and McLaren man
Rob Taylor. The work done there
is crucial, because Haas cannot
simply run a Ferrari design as
some suggest. On top of the
monocoque design, the key work
done at Dallara is on the
The Haas model is a pragmatic,
effective and perfectly legal way
to get on the grid and perform
credibly straight out of the box.
Haas F1 principal Guenther Steiner
(ABOVE, right) has been the driving
force behind the team’s approach.
LETTER OF THE LAW
has only the previous year’s Ferrari engine
to power it, so immediately Haas has an
advantage there – but will probably lag
behind on the chassis development side.
Ferrari-powered Sauber is eminently
beatable, and driver Felipe Nasr was
certainly concerned after testing.
“With the resources and finances Haas F1
has, they can catch up very quickly and
develop very quickly,” said Nasr. “It’s difficult
for a new team to start a season in F1, to
get the operational side correct, but I’m
sure with time they will be competitive.”
Haas is not going to be ahead of all of
the teams mentioned – and, worst case,
maybe none of the above – but if it can
hit the ground running and be sharp
operationally, the best chance for points
will be early in the season. It has an
outstanding driver in Romain Grosjean, as
quick as anyone and a guy who has, over
the years, added consistency. In Esteban
Gutierrez, it has a rapid second driver who
had his moments in Sauber kit in the past.
The car is certainly in the midfield spread
and, even if it is toward the rear, will be
much closer to the pace than, say, Manor
was last year. What remains to be seen is
how the team works in race conditions.
The key is to get on the scoreboard
and into the top 10 in the championship,
which could have financial benefits. Then,
as time progresses, the team can build
itself up and start to do more in-house.
“In Australia, the objective is to get into
Q2 and, if possible, to bring a point home,
or otherwise finish in the top 15,” says
Steiner. “Just be respectable out there.”
But on the evidence presented so far,
“respectable” is pretty much a given.
Despite the Daytona
500 taking place the
day before, owner
Gene Haas traveled
opening F1 test to
see his cars run
for the first time.