Formula 1 should not be “dumbed down” by following IndyCar’s path of moving towards spec cars, says Haas boss Gunther Steiner. IndyCar has implemented a common aerokit for 2018 which has moved it increasingly toward spec cars, although there are areas for development such as suspension.
Since the new car was introduced there has been record overtaking at the street circuit St. Petersburg, while the notoriously difficult Phoenix oval proved more conducive to passes, with drivers praising the series’ direction. It marked a stark contrast to F1’s latest cars, with efforts to try to make changes to help improve overtaking having failed to reach a consensus when discussed by teams.
When Steiner was asked by Motorsport.com for his view on IndyCar’s philosophy compared to F1’s, he said: “I think F1 should not go spec cars. If F1 goes [to] spec cars I think it is the end of F1. It’s the pinnacle of motorsport, technology is still important. We need to be very careful not to dumb down F1. As much as we don’t think people are interested, a lot of people are interested in technology, not only in racing, and I think F1 is a good showcase for technology. We need to make it more I would say accessible then at least people know what we are doing, that is one of the goals we should try to achieve but we should not dumb F1 down like IndyCar, because then you have got GP1 and we know where that one is going. As great as we think IndyCar is, if [other] series like what it’s done, it’s not like we should focus on that one, we should focus on ourselves and make our sport better.” – he explained.
IndyCar’s chassis is built by Dallara, whch also builds the Haas team’s chassis and supplies its parts, with Kevin Magnussen recently praising the Italian company for stepping up its game in F1. When Motorsport.com asked if its experience of other categories such as IndyCar was a help to F1, Steiner added: “I think speaking with people is always good because you always learn: “If you don’t speak, you never learn anything and I think it’s always good. But I think F1 has got a good structure in place with Ross on top of it to know what Formula 1 is and where to go. For me, to speak with anybody, even speaking with IndyCar [and] what their experience was is not wrong. I never say don’t speak with anybody, they all made good experiences but what I mean, we don’t need to listen to somebody to tell us what to do. The people in F1 are pretty clever, and we know where we need to go. It’s how we get there, that is the bigger problem for us than what we need to do.” – the Italian motorsport engineer and manager concluded.