Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

Haas targets “points chance” for debut season

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Haas wants to be in with a chance of scoring points in its first season in F1.

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Comment of the day

More views on how Haas will fare in their first season:

Gene Haas has seemingly done everything right so far.

He has a top driver in Romain Grosjean (and a not-so top driver in Esteban Gutierrez), has a technical partnership with Ferrari and he has not rushed this project. With Ferrari power units, they should be handy on the straights compared to Renault, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and probably McLaren. I expect a number of points this year.

On another note, Manor need to build a solid chassis and hire two decent drivers for them to really be taken seriously. This is a massive opportunity for them.
Craig Woollard (@Craig-o)

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On this day in F1

Five years ago today one of F1’s missing cars appeared for the first time. Toyota had built a TF110 chassis to contest the 2010 season, but the project was canned when the F1 team was closed, and Stefan GP’s attempts to race the cars came to naught:

36 comments on “Haas targets “points chance” for debut season”

  1. Martin Brundle =

    2017 F1 cars must be futuristic, dramatic,and equal

    What good will futuristic, Dramatic (And even equal) cars be if the racing is still of a poor quality?

    Like a lot of others within F1 Martin is putting the primary focus on the wrong thing. The primary focus should be on improving the quality of the racing & removing the perceived need for artificial gimmicks like DRS & high degredation tyres.

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      5th January 2016, 3:13

      Martin is nothing more than a puppet nowadays for Sky, he’s just happy he gets to drive all those F1 cars.

      1. RaceProUK (@)
        5th January 2016, 13:06

        But when he said the same sort of things when he was at the BBC, he was applauded for them.

      2. @come-on-kubica I agree. @raceprouk he didn’t act the same way at bbc. I wonder if you can remember his first stint on bbc? Anyway 2011 was a golden year on F1’s UK broadcasting standards.

    2. I think he is meaning that we can make it futuristic, dramatic and equal whilst improving the racing. Wanting to improve the racing has turned into a want which isn’t necessary to be verbalised, it is so obvious.

      Unfortunately the cars don’t seem to be heading the way of being futuristic, dramatic and equal nor will they improve the racing.

    3. i think by saying ‘equal’ he is implying the racing would be better as a result…

  2. COTD is very good. Just to add to that, if Manor do step up, and Haas do well, and Honda have got the supposed minimum 2 second leap forward, could we see Sauber once more being left behind as in 2014? They’ll have the Ferrari engine but I’d be surprised if the chassis is great, not to forget an unimpressive lineup.

    I still believe that Nasr has huge potential, and may shine this year, Ericcson on the other hand, not so much.

    I fear Haas are in for a horrific shock though. To make the claim, with absolutely no first hand experience racing in Formula One, that they could be fighting for points from round one, is risky to say the least.

    1. I fear Haas are in for a horrific shock though. To make the claim, with absolutely no first hand experience racing in Formula One, that they could be fighting for points from round one, is risky to say the least.

      Yeah I was thinking this @strontium. When we look at who they have to beat to get a point – say three cars among Force India, Torro Rosso and Red Bull, it looks like setting himself up for a disappointment. And there’s so much to learn operationally as you say.

      Plus that worrying thing about having come up with something new and cleverer on aero…

    2. You might think that a new team talking up their hopes isn’t the smartest of things to do, but Günther Steiner and Ben Agathangelou have seen a bit of time in F1. With their close association with Ferrari I hold a bit of hope for them, along with Romain, to deliver at least in the opening rounds of the season.

      1. Talking up their prospects might also help sponsor acquisition, so they might be inclined to do that irrespective of whether they think they can fulfill that or not.

        That said, points in the first race in 2015 meant to be in the first 10 out of 11 finishing cars, it wasn´t really neccessary to beat anyone bar the McLaren. 2016 will probably be a bit more difficult, but simply not being to far behind the pack and having at least one car finish an incident-free race might be enough to do the trick.

    3. thing is with Manor, they aren’t just a little bit behind. They would need a massive step up in general performance (non engine) to get anywhere near off the back of the grid. I hope they do though, just don’t see it right now.

      1. Having an up to date chassis for 2016 will help them there, they ran a barely modified 2014 chassis last season. The performance that will come from moving from a 2014 Ferrari PU to a 2016 Mercedes will also be gigantic. Manor should be able to be competitive.

      2. Well, they’ve been working on their 2016 chassis since the end of 2014, they’re getting essentially Williams powertrains… Give them a decent couple of drivers (Rossi and someone better than Will Stevens), and they should be able to compete for points.

    4. Aren’t Haas running 2015 Ferrari PUs and Sauber 2016?

      1. @john-h No, Haas have 2016 units. Only Toro Rosso have the old ones.

        1. why did torro rosso lose out here? @keithcollantine

          1. Perhaps due to their really good 2015 chassis? It may have spooked them, along with the main teams demands at the time of the deal…

        2. Ah, thanks. Makes sense.

    5. To make the claim, with absolutely no first hand experience racing in Formula One, that they could be fighting for points from round one, is risky to say the least.

      Yeah, that guy Gunther Steiner… No experience in an F1 paddock at all.

  3. Looking in the background of the Haas facility, you can predict the livery colours. They’ve smartly hide the car with a black livery for now but I think the background suggests those colours. It makes even more sense if you consider it to be a Ferrari B team.

    1. I predict white, red, and black (abundance of colour on chassis in that order). Kind of like the early-to-mid 2000’s BAR Honda cars.

    2. The logo is red/white– Whatever the base color of the car is, that logo needs to stand out. Black would work, but be boring. Silver/grey would be terrible. Yellow could work, red would be tricky (You’d need a large surround to keep the H from getting lost in the car color).

      I expect a white plus “strong” (red, yellow, maybe blue) color combination, with the Haas logo on the white portion of the livery.

  4. Haas certainly show confidence in the car that was built for them. But given that they have no experience in F1 so far at all and will need some practice to get things working like clockwork, I would be quite surprised if they did manage to get close to the points in their first race.

    1. @bascb They might have more chance at the beginning that at the end. With their structure, it’s ‘easier’ to come with a good chassis at the first race than keeping the needed development rate (doing a BAR but in the midfield).
      In addition first round is usually an opportunity with many retirements due to technical failures, cars not totally ready…

      1. Good point on development there @jeanrien, especially since the tight cooperation they had last year in the run up will not be allowed for this year, and I doubt the Haas guys will have much of a clue where to improve the car towards at the start of their effort.

        I guess we will see how many cars fail this year (Honda and Renault are likely to be at least somewhat improved, right?), although I think its not unlikely that at least one of the Haas cars will be amongst the retirements!

  5. While I am a big fan of the way that Haas has gone about its business so far and while I do genuinely hope that they will be successful in F1, I am starting to think that they are underestimating just how much effort it will take to break into the points in F1. Assuming that Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams and Red Bull will be the top 4 teams and will in most cases fill 8 of the points paying places, Haas will have to beat one or more cars from Force India, Renault, STR, McLaren and Sauber to be competing for the last few points, that is a massive ask for a new team.

    Lets also not forget that, while they are getting loads of kit “straight off the shelf” from Ferrari, they have to do all of their aero work themselves and while they are working in partnership with Ferrari and Dallara on this as well, success still isn’t a given. Sauber ran the same engines as Ferrari last season (though not always the latest specification I admit) and their underdeveloped aero concept left them way down the field.

    I have high hopes for Haas, but in normal circumstances I don’t see them fighting for points until much later in the season.

    1. Maybe they hope to have one of their drivers mirror the “out of the blue” success Nasr had this year in Australia @geemac :-)

      I too fear that they are a bit over confident. It has happened to most other new entrants too.

      1. You people are silly. What do you expect a racing team to say? “I think we’re going to come last every race.”?? That’s just insane, why even join F1 if that is your thought process?

        Are they saying they are going to be constant points finishers? No.
        Are they saying they are going to win races? No.

        Nobody is underestimating the effort. If you watch the video, Gunther says that even coming last takes a tremendous effort. They have been building the team for over 5 years. The team is over 90% former employees of other F1 teams, do you really think no one there has an idea of how hard F1 really is?

        We all scream for the grid to be filled, yet we ridicule a new team joining the grid just for setting a goal of getting some points. Silly.

        1. While I am a big fan of the way that Haas has gone about its business so far and while I do genuinely hope that they will be successful in F1

          Ridicule? ;)

          I do agree with you @pastaman, teams have to talk themselves up. It gets people in the team motivated and generates interest and gets sponsors on board. But the Haas top brass have talked themselves up to near BAR levels in previous weeks (http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/11/07/f1-fanatic-round-up-0711-3/). Steiner is a clever guy, Haas is a clever guy, I don’t doubt that they know how hard it will be to be competitive in F1. But they have set the bar very high bar for themselves with all of their talk and I fear there will be a lot of disappointed fans out there come Melbourne if they don’t carry putting out comments more along the lines of those Steiner made in the videos linked above.

          1. @geemac sorry, it was more directed at the reply to your comment.

            It’s true that bringing up the rear will result in disappointed fans, but that would be true no matter where the bar is set.

            Of course as you mentioned, sponsorships also have a large influence on the language, and a disappointed sponsor is a much bigger problem :)

  6. I think F1 ought not to force manufacturers to supply equal engines, it’s not fair but also it’s not good to shun investors when the show is waning. In my view it would be an improvement for the spectacle and a message that going for a power formula is undesired. Only natural to see this much focus on PU’s as they are such a grid differentiator. To solve the conundrum either make the championship more accessible to a larger number of manufacturers or go single supplier. As ever it’s a matter of commitment, yes or no, not maybe. Free the engines or restrict everything?

  7. Well, well @pastaman

    sorry, it was more directed at the reply to your comment.

    So, I guess that was about my comment then?

    Tell me, is it silly to think one is over confident when a new team that has not turned a wheel for an inch already comes out saying they are gunning for points. The last teams that entered the sport amassed 2 points between them within 5 years. Sure, talk up how you are not going to be just hugging the last row forever and have a plan. But honestly, they can be greatly satisfied if they manage to qualify both cars and have them still running at the end of the race.
    To expect anything more is just plain silly. However much we would like a new team to really be able to race, putting the bar too high just does not help anything apart from preparing one to be disappointed.

  8. I want my Barcelona testing, and I want it now!

  9. If (as is expected) Haas have a better engine than Red Bull, Renault, Toro Rosso and McLaren in 2016, then I see no reason why they should not pick up points and finish tenth or even as high as eighth in the WDC.

  10. it will be very interesting, how can they perform. I expect more from them than previously little teams.

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