D as interest in HaasF1 is growing. Team boss Guenther Steiner looked into more microphones than usual at the first press conference of the still young season. Since the tests in Barcelona, HaasF1 has been a team that has to be taken seriously. The competition leads the US team to fourth place in the projections. That's a compliment you can't buy anything for, says Steiner: “It's true, the second week of testing went well for us. But we don't have any World Championship points in our accounts and no trophies in our cupboard. ”The South Tyrolean describes the expectations of his racing team in two words:“ Cautiously optimistic. ”
No doubt: HaasF1 has made a good car . “Our drivers are happy with the car. It's easy to drive and that's a good sign, ”reports the team boss. That means something. Romain Grosjean in particular is seldom satisfied with his vehicle. The Frenchman is considered to be the greatest critic of the funk. At least Steiner admits that this time you are right in the middle of the fight for fourth place. “It will be a pretty busy area this year. Many cars will jostle within half a second. ”The greatest resistance threatens from Renault, McLaren and Force India. The World Cup fourth in 2016 and 2017 didn't look like a real opponent during the test drives, but he wants to be with his big aero upgrade. 'More than half a second if the numbers are correct,' promise the Force India technicians.
HaasF1 hires ex-Bridgestone engineer
HaasF1 sees itself better positioned in its third year than ever. The build-up phase has been completed and the team has grown together. You can now set priorities much better, spend the money where it brings lap time. For example in aerodynamics and tire management. “We worked towards better aerodynamic stability in order to get the tires to work more reliably,” explains Steiner. The US racing team calculates at around 150 million dollars. That is just above the previous year. The bad exchange rate of the dollar to the euro and pound is eating up a lot.
The tire department has been increased. HaasF1 hired a former Bridgestone engineer to do this. McLaren and Force India were the godfathers. Both teams also rely on Bridgestone expertise and are among the best tire experts. In addition, the analysis and the calculation models for the tires were brought into shapebrought. 'We bought a really good man for the software,' reveals Steiner.
The eighth World Cup last year was also reorganized when it came to developing the car. You are confident you can keep up with your rivals. Steiner added: “We have a pretty good plan for upgrading our car over the season. Of course, I don't know the other's plans. Teams like Renault or McLaren certainly have more money than we do, but money isn't everything. There is no rule according to which the 10 million dollars give five points. ”The season goal is set:“ More points than last year, and if there are enough, that will be enough to improve our placement. ”The first two GPs -Seasons ended HaasF1 in 8th place.