Haas eyes ‘independence’ from Ferrari

Haas may achieve greater “independence” from technical partner Ferrari within a few years, according to team boss Gunther Steiner.

Currently, the small American team has small US and UK headquarters, but the bulk of the team is based on the grounds of Ferrari’s Maranello factory in Italy.

But Steiner says the covid-19 pandemic set back Haas’ plans to operate with greater independence.

“We are able to independently develop transmissions, suspension and be a more independent team,” he told the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

“We first thought about it back in 2018 and I even prepared a plan of action. We should have reached that goal within a couple of years, but in 2020 a pandemic happened which put us back a long way.

“We had to think about how to survive in the current conditions instead. At that moment there was no time for autonomy,” Steiner added.

“Now we are again thinking about how to be less dependent. Let’s see what will happen in the new season and then decide.

“But I think that in two or three years it will be quite possible.”

However, Steiner insists that Haas has no Andretti-like plans to operate predominantly from its US headquarters for practical reasons.

He also said Haas is unable to follow the lead of big teams like Mercedes by rotating staff throughout the season to better cope with the long 23-race calendar.

“The leaders of many teams are very wealthy so they can afford not to come to the races. They have a lot of people working for them,” Steiner smiled.

“But personally I really like to come to the races. It is my favourite job actually.”

As for rotating the hard-working staff, Steiner answered: “We do not have plans for that.

“Some people will change here and there, but the core staff, the mechanics and engineers, will always be the same.”

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