With only ten weeks until the first pre-season test in Barcelona, Haas F1 can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel after two years preparation.
In an interview by Sky Sports, Haas team Principal Guenther Steiner said, “Everything seems to come together. Our pit equipment is almost all here now and we’ve done a garage check so when we set up in Barcelona we will be right. Obviously, the car is the last thing you bring in and the production planning is going well and we will start to produce a car in mid-January.”
Steiner also confirmed that the car Haas will use at Barcelona has been ‘signed off for production’. They appear to be thoroughly prepared for challenges ahead, which is what you would expect with Haas’ NASCAR experience and their technical partnership with Ferrari.
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Team boss Gene Haas previously said that his team’s chassis design is ‘better’ than Ferrari’s - whether this equates to them being faster is another question.
Steiner expects Haas to progress into Q2 at the season opener in Australia but realises that a trouble-free weekend is the main priority.
Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez will be piloting the Ferrari-powered Haas cars in Melbourne. Ferrari test driver Gutierrez is expected to return to F1 with Haas, due to the technical agreement between them and the Italian outfit.
Conversely, the announcement that Grosjean would join F1's newest team came as a surprise. It is speculated that Grosjean chose Haas to align himself with Ferrari, in anticipation of a works Ferrari race seat becoming available when Kimi Raikkonen retires.
In recent history, success and new F1 teams have not gone hand-in-hand. Therefore, it is important that Haas F1 are successful if they are to provide a model for potential new teams and to promote the sport across the pond.