Haas boss Guenther Steiner is so confident about his team’s position on legality that he has offered the rivals a chance to audit the team if they still think otherwise.
The American outfit has a close partnership with Ferrari since its arrival in F1 in 2016. The Scuderia provides a lot of unlisted parts to Haas, along with its power units. The team creates only the listed parts like monocoque, survival cell, bodywork, wings and diffuser in-house.
In early 2018, the Haas-Ferrari model came under a lot of scrutiny due to complaints from Force India and McLaren. They alleged the VF-18 looked like a clone of Ferrari’s 2017 design.
But despite all the protests, the Haas model remains legal and was admired by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
“We have proved we are not doing anything because we invited people to come in, plus all the tests the FIA did, and we are still open if someone wants to audit us,” Steiner said.
“Just do it. We are open to it.
“It never happened because people were just trying to scare us, but you cannot scare someone who doesn’t need to be afraid. So, we said, ‘yes, you are our guests’.”
Will this open invite act as a deterrent in the upcoming season? We don’t believe so. But the team boss is certain of their stand and emphasised they will continue their relationship with Ferrari.
“It will be exactly the same [with Ferrari],” confirmed the Italian.
We have got a very good relationship, it’s working very smoothly because we established all the rules. It’s working fluently and well so there’s no change in the relationship.”
Haas is hoping to claim the fourth place in the team standing’s this year. In 2018, they lost a lot of points due to a pitstop error and a few early crashes. But this year, they are unlikely to make similar mistakes.
The midfield battle is heating up in 2019!