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Haas: It feels like we're competing in Formula 1.5

  • Published on 20 Oct 2018 16:12
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Haas team owner Gene Haas says that he doesn't feel as though he's competing in Formula 1 due to the large gap between the midfield and the front-runners. The American squad has nevertheless impressed during its opening years in F1, as it is currently competing for fourth in the constructor's championship, despite entering the series in 2016.

However, only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have won every race since the start of the hybrid era in 2014. Mid-field teams arrive at races now knowing that the three aforementioned squads are simply out of reach in terms of pace, leaving them to target being the fourth fastest outfit.

"I kind of feel like we’re not really racing in Formula 1, we’re racing in Formula 1.5,” said Haas. “So if we were to finish fourth then that would be a win in our series. When I watch some of the races and I see how fast the top three teams just blow by us on the racetrack, you’re just somewhat aghast: wow, how do you we miss that?

“I don’t know how those cars are so much faster but if I talk to [chief engineer] Ayao (Komatsu) and he’ll tell you ‘you’ve got a couple of tenths on your tyres, you’ve got a couple of tenths on your aero, your chassis is off a couple of tenths and there’s your second or two’.

“I know that we’ve put a huge effort into trying to address all those parameters but I just don’t see how we’re ever going to make up a second and a half, two seconds off of these guys. They are just so much faster than we are and it’s evident in the race."

Formula 1's owners Liberty Media has spoken about the desire to close the gap between the top teams and those further down the pecking order. One idea for 2021 is to introduce a budget cap, which Haas admits could help the current situation. 

“Will a budget cap help? Probably if it reduces the size of their R&D department. I guess for every person we have they have five people. Personally, I would think that five people would make it more confusing but it does seem to work.

“If there’s anything that can reduce that gap between the technology they have and what we don’t have, that would probably be very helpful. How you go about doing that without the bigger teams somehow have workarounds I don’t know. There’s something wrong that… I don’t think we can ever make up that gap.”

Replies (2)

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  • f1dave

    Posts: 782

    Reminds me of that old line . . .
    "How fast can I go ?"
    "How much money have you got ?"

    • + 1
    • Oct 20 2018 - 19:10
    • Wothan

      Posts: 8

      Money means alot offcourse, but luckily not everything.

      Remember Toyota ?
      They had a huge budget, but the rather failed despite of that.

      And now look at HAAS, according to their budget (the smallest in F1), they has led through a great deal of this season and are competing against teams with much greater budgets, like Renault, McLaren etc.

      But I also find that the gap between the 3 best teams and the rest is too great and something must be done against that, other wise I would also say that we are looking at 2 different classes - call it F1 and F1½.

      FinnJ

      • + 0
      • Oct 20 2018 - 20:59

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