Haas joined the grid in 2016, making use of F1’s rules over which parts teams must build themselves and which can be bought from others to strike a deal with Ferrari. That helped Haas establish itself as one the leading midfield teams last year, just three years into its F1 project, and it is one of the quickest again this season.
The customer-team model has come under fire from the likes of Renault, McLaren and Williams, and Steiner has previously defended his team and its concept aggressively. Haas rose to fifth in the championship last season, becoming embroiled in a controversial fight with Renault on and off-track and reigniting suggestions Haas is too closely linked to Ferrari.
“Some of the people that say that, I don’t really know what they mean by it,” said Haas Team Principal Gunther Steiner, of the Ferrari comparisons – “I think they don’t know what they mean with it. It’s normally the people that cannot understand why we’re doing such a good job. They just say we’re copying Ferrari. There are clearly written rules – what you can and can’t do – and we do everything to the rulebook. I don’t really care if they have a bad opinion about us.”
However, the GPS data reveals that the Ferrari V6 has more power on the Ferrari cars than in the customer teams, which is partially justified by the fact that Haas and Ferrari don’t use the same fuel. Gunther Steiner explains: “I think the difference on the straights is a combination of engine fuel and drag.”
The Haas Team Principal also joked when asked to comment on Christian Horner’s remarks that Ferrari’s fuel smells like grapefruit juice: “We were asked before the season which fragrance we wanted. We chose raspberry.”
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