Will Haas F1 be Ferrari’s ‘B-team’?




Gene Haas, who is a prominent figure in the NASCAR races and partners Tony Stewart’s team, is set to bring his team into F1 in 2016. Although he had the option to enter Formula One this season itself, he held back so that he could prepare well and get the car ready properly. He has a base in England with a factory in North Carolina and has signed up with Ferrari to enter into the big league.

Formula One - Haas will not be Ferrari 'B-team'

Formula One – Haas will not be Ferrari ‘B-team’

Ferrari, in September last year, announced that the team has signed a multi-year contract as the engine supplier for the new Formula one constructor, Haas F1. A formal announcement of this deal between Ferrari and Haas Automation business was announced in July last year. Back then, the Haas team had made it clear that it wanted to develop extensive technical partnerships with the Italian giant.

Fast forward to May 2015, and reports now have popped up regarding the team being a virtual sister team of Ferrari. The newly formed team of Haas F1 have come out saying that they will not be a Ferrari ‘B-Team’ when they debut next season despite technical partnerships with the Scuderia. Gunther Steiner, Haas F1 team principle, talked about the entry into Formula One on AUTOSPORT said, “I think they (Ferrari) are for us like a good partner which helps us to get into F1”. The new Haas F1 team is speculated to follow the footsteps of the Italian giant as it enters the glitzy world of Formula One for the first time. “We did not speak about drivers with them (Ferrari). There is no plan to be their B-Team and to do whatever they want. That’s not the plan”, Steiner said.

“The cars will not be yellow Ferraris because the bodywork will be different and the chassis is different”, said Steiner. Haas team principle, Gunther Steiner said that all the chassis and body work will be done by Haas and he expects the look of the cars to be different than the Ferrari when released next year. However, the team is importing the suspension mounting points, brakes, suspension uprights, pedal box, steering rack and fuel cell technology from Maranello.

Steiner said that the team will be competing for points right from the start next season. The team wanted to enter Formula One this year itself, however, it was ruled out due to its delay in dealing with expenses. He mentions that the goal of the team is to be respectable and to finish and compete with the mid field initially. Haas will start the pre-season testing next February as per the FIA norms and do simulation testing in labs and wind tunnels before that.

Last week, Gene Hass confirmed and released a press report regarding new hires for the team and their facilities. The team will be working from the former Marussia factory in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The team will he headed from its US headquarters in Kannapolis, in North Carolina. Dave O’Neill has been confirmed as the team manager with Rob Taylor as chief designer and Ben Agathagelou as chief aerodynamicist.

O’Neill has more than 15-20 years of experience including the former Jordan team, A1 GP and other open-wheeled championships. Ben was with Ferrari team back in 2012 when he set up the wind tunnel and testing facilities in Maranello while Talyor was the chief designer at Marussia before the team ran into administration. Ben and Taylor have reportedly built a 60% scale model of the chassis for 2016. They will be conducting various tests and analysis for further improvement to the design.

Leading them all, Steiner said, “While there is a lot of work to do, a lot has already been accomplished or Haas F1 team to be competitive when we join the F1 grid in 2016”.

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Anjan K Merkap

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