Haas F1 Team rivals want 'Ferrari clone' investigation

Published on 29 Mar 2018 09:06

Gunther Steiner has hit back with fury at suggestions Haas is using a carbon copy of last year's Ferrari in 2018. Force India is calling for an investigation into whether what the small American team is doing is or should be legal. "They're using last year's Ferrari," said deputy boss Bob Fernley.

Technical boss Andy Green agrees, but says it is the exchange of information between Haas and Ferrari that is more worrying. "Nobody can tell me that they don't communicate with each other to develop and solve problems faster," he said.

Force India is not the only concerned team. "Under the bodywork of the Haas car, it's 100 per cent a Ferrari," team boss Eric Boullier told France's Auto Hebdo. "They don't build a car, they buy one. And when you buy from Maranello, it can't be bad."

McLaren executive Zak Brown is quoted by The Sun: "We all know they have a very close alliance with Ferrari. We need to make sure it's not too close." Force India sporting boss Otmar Szafnauer agrees: "All the aerodynamic surfaces have to be your own. If they're not, I don't know how you can tell unless you start investigating."

Haas team boss Steiner reacted furiously, saying rival teams are talking "without knowledge and without intelligence". "I invite them to file a complaint if they see ghosts and have problems," he is quoted by Marca. "I can very clearly show them the way to the FIA." Explaining the similarities between the 2017 Ferrari and this year's Haas, he said: "We have the same wheelbase as Ferrari, but we share the suspension. So it's logical."

As for the complaints, he insisted: "If you have to justify your incompetence, attack is the best defence. When someone has twice the money and is behind us, whoever owns the team should ask 'What are we doing here?'. But when you speak you need to have an argument, not just assumptions," Steiner added.

Replies (9)
DK RenaultFM1 29 Mar 2018 11:390
Posts: 100
Well said Mr. Steiner
Posts: 186
there is no way FIA will kill them off.

they are the only recent new team that looks like surviving a reasonable time.

with force india likely to fail , the loss of two teams would be the first nail in the coffin.

And if Merc and Ferrari are threatening. ...

just imagine
SE calle.itw 29 Mar 2018 17:110
Posts: 5626
I really hope this doesnt get through. This is the same kind of jealousy that is behind Williams' attempts at killing off Force India. The current grid reminds me of the game industry's relationship to Gamestop: several parties trying to make business with one another with smiles and laughter, while simultaneously trying to kill of the other party.
DK Jutlandia 29 Mar 2018 17:200
Posts: 176
You're so spot on.
Instead of whining like they should consentrate on their own car.
But somehow it could be a good idea for FIA to do the investigation and conclude that there's nothing wrong.
Orherwise we could have that kind of noise as long as Haas is faster that McLada and FI.
SE calle.itw 29 Mar 2018 19:320
Posts: 5626
Fair enough, but my concern is that using the results from such an investigation, rival teams might get more material to gnab about.
US ajpennypacker 29 Mar 2018 21:200
Posts: 1402
I find this accusations against Haas so absurd and premature. Don't forget that Haas' debut in 2016 was just about as impressive. I'd argue more because they actually finished the first two races. Then we all know what happened. They had a dreadful second half of the season. Because of their history of running out of team halfway through the season, I don't expect Haas to maintain this level of performance.
SE calle.itw 31 Mar 2018 12:090
Posts: 5626
Im no fan of the accusations either. I mean, I get them to an extent, but many seem to assume that Haas' relationship with Ferrari is unique, when history has over and over given us similar situations in F1, and nobody complained back then. I dont expect them to be able to keep it up either, which makes their double retirement all the more frustrating for them, but given enough competitiveness now, they might score enough to secore 5th or 4th.
Posts: 625
Everyone seems to be missing the main point, that F1 is a “Constructor” championship as much as a driver’s. Therefore a team has to be a constructor. Team Haas does not meet that criteria, they assemble components, well, probably not even that. They don’t have a design or an aero department and as a consequence they don’t have the associated costs either. In essence, the car is a “customer” car which current rules forbid and how they even made it to the grid is a mystery. If you followed this path to its logical conclusion, you would have perhaps only 2 or 3 “makes” on the grid with only team names to differentiate them and then the intense competition that F1 is famous for will be gone and it will become more or less a one make series. This is the objection to Haas. As I have said for several months, if Haas start to be unrealistically competitive then prepare for the objections. To call it “whining” is to miss the entire point - that this is a battle for the very “soul” of F1 not a gripe that they are faster.. The other main point is that what Haas really spends is not at all transparent with this model, and if F1 were to introduce a cost cap, which I believe they will, then it would be impossible with Haas as I am assuming that his deal with Ferrari does not include an exchange of cash. With F1 now part owned by Americans, I do not anticipate any problems for Haas from the rights holders, but there will be a battle from the FIA. Fasten your safety belts, this will be a bumpy ride.
SE calle.itw 30 Mar 2018 14:090
Posts: 5626
You seem to miss a vital point, my dear BARRON. Yes, F1 is a constructor's championship, but that hasnt changed that B Teams, with or without sharing data and components between teams, has existed for decades. There is very little difference between this and the data sharing between STR and Red Bull, or what Honda however temporarily had with Super Aguri, and nobody bats and/or batted an eye then. Haas develop a car together with Ferrari and let a third party do the final touches and build the chassis, and everyone suddenly loses their mind. As for your last point: Remember that F1 has been owned by Brits for several years now. How well has Williams and McLaren fared during that reign as of late, pray tell? Having a 'murican owner doesnt immediately mean that 'murican teams will benefit more from it. It doesnt correlate. At all.

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