Haas says rivals should welcome F1 approach

Gene Haas thinks that Formula 1 should be welcoming the fact that his team's approach has produced something that has excited fans, rather than worrying about who makes his car.

Haas has entered a technical partnership with Ferrari that allows it to buy as many parts as it is allowed to under the regulations, and capitalised on that to score a brilliant sixth-placed finish in the Australian Grand Prix.

The fact the team has been able to deliver so quickly shows the benefit of what it has done, but has left some rivals unsure about whether or not it is right for F1.

After the Australian Grand Prix, Williams technical chief Pat Symonds said: "I think what Haas has done is good for him, but I don't know if that's the way F1 should be going. It is totally legal, but is it really what F1 wants? I'm not sure."

Better racing

Haas thinks, however, that there is not much difference between teams running customer engines and gearboxes, and what his outfit has done.

He is clear that F1 should feel it is better off with more competitive teams, because that is all the fans really care about.

"Keep in mind that almost all the teams procure an engine from somebody," he said.

"So the fact that we're doing a little bit more than that, and getting some suspension and transmission parts…I think that if you're purchasing an engine from another team, you're already going down that path of what we're doing. We just do it a little bit more.

"I think that most of the fans don't really appreciate the technology that goes into these cars.

"If we can make the racing better by getting more competitive, I think that's more important than who built the technology."

Thick skinned

Haas is well aware about how his team has ruffled feathers in F1 – including when his team's sharing of wind tunnel time with Ferrari prompted questions from Mercedes at the end of last year.

But rather than be worried about the chances of political games being played, Haas thinks that his team can steer through any choppy political waters.

When asked if he was worried about teams trying to undermine his outfit's approach, Haas said: "They'll probably do all of that and more. We were doing NASCAR for a long time, so we're a little thick skinned. I wouldn't be worried about what they're going to do with me.

"I went to the press conference [in Australia], and they had the team principals there. They were all very welcoming and warm about it. I think they like good competition. If we can provide them with good competition, they'll welcome that and appreciate that. That's what racing is about.

"You don't want to come here and win races easily, because what's the point of that? When you win a race, you want to know that you beat someone who gave it his all. And when you do that, that's what makes you feel really good about it."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Haas F1 Team
Article type Breaking news