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.