Haas freeze plans to increase staff numbers

Date published: December 14 2017

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes the American outfit have hit a glass ceiling until they learn of Liberty’s plans for a budget cap.

Haas have completed their sophomore year in Formula 1 and, although they stayed in eighth spot in the World Constructors’ Championship, collected 18 more points than their first-season haul of 29.

As they continue to try and grow as a Formula 1 team, Steiner has said that Haas are now restricted as they don’t want to employ new staff only to find they would have to scale back if the budget caps are particularly tight.

“I would not have expected that we are so stable in all areas,” Steiner told Auto Motor und Sport.

“Only after the first year are you aware of the level required to put it all together, but we met all of our expectations.

“Before we continue to grow, we need to know at what level the budget cap would be.

“It makes no sense to enlarge the team now and then reduce staff again in 2021.”

Magnussen happy there is ‘no bull****’ at Haas

Date published: December 13 2017

Kevin Magnussen has described Haas as a “real race team” as there is “no bull****”, adding he is “very at home” with the American outfit.

The 25-year-old came through the McLaren Young Driver Programme and made his breakthrough in 2014, but was released at the end of 2015 after spending that season as the reserve driver. He moved to Renault in 2016 before joining Haas ahead of the 2017 campaign.

The Dane picked up 19 points during his debut campaign and has been retained for the 2018 campaign.

Magnussen puts his successful season with the American squad down to the fact that “it’s all racing and none of the other stuff”.

“I feel very at home, very happy,” he is quoted as saying by ESPNF1. “It’s nice to be in a team that’s very simple.

“Everyone here is here to go racing. There’s no bull**** or any commercial stuff. It’s very uncommercial, a real race team. It’s kind of going racing in Formula One with an F3 team. It’s very straightforward.

“I think it’s just that we don’t have to deal with people you don’t want to deal with. There’s no one here that I don’t really enjoy working with. You don’t have to do stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with racing, it’s all racing and none of the other stuff. It just gives you a different feeling of… bull****.”

Ferrari still have hope for Giovinazzi future

Date published: December 8 2017

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne retains hope that Antonio Giovinazzi will get a full-time seat in Formula 1.

The Scuderia were unable to turn Sauber into a full feeder team with two Ferrari-backed drivers after the Swiss team kept hold of Marcus Ericsson in favour of bringing in Giovinazzi alongside Charles Leclerc.

Haas have closed the door on Giovinazzi becoming a reserve driver for them again in 2018, meaning the Italian will be doing double duty for both Ferrari and Sauber – but ultimately in a reserve role.

“Giovinazzi is a good guy, and it’s just a question time. He should get his chance,” said Marchionne.

“He will be Ferrari’s third driver and he has a programme of testing with Sauber. We understand his desire to race, but at the moment there are no vacancies.

“The agreement with Sauber is a way to find an outlet for the youngsters in our Driver Academy, and it will take time to streamline this system.”

Giovinazzi impressed on debut when filling in for the injured Pascal Wehrlein in Australia, but two crashes in quick succession in China meant the Italian’s stock quickly fell.

Steiner: Grosjean was moaning ‘too much’

Date published: December 8 2017

Haas boss Guenther Steiner is hoping Romain Grosjean can continue to channel his frustrations in the right way next season after overstepping the mark in 2017.

The Frenchman increasingly frequent moans over team radio were a staple of seemingly every race weekend over the course of the season, but Steiner felt that he had to step in at the United States Grand Prix.

“In Austin he was getting too much,” Steiner said. “I told him we could hear him, but if you keep talking then we cannot talk to you.

“If you are on the radio all the time then how can we tell you what to do? So somebody had to stop him – and usually that is me.”

Steiner believes Grosjean has improved since Austin and allowed the team to give him feedback about the issues he is facing.

He added: “It is less, but I didn’t do a proper study on it. I think he has calmed down and realised it doesn’t help. Not that it is good or bad, just that it doesn’t help.

“So why get like this rather than working in a constructive way?

“He still has his outbursts but normally they are shorter. Unlike Austin, when we had a bad day.”

Steiner, though, conceded that the situation will never be fully resolved.

“Even if I did study it I can’t fix it anyway,”, he said.

“We speak sometimes about it but not about fixing it. More about what he thinks it does to help.

“He has calmed down but still has he peaks. I will not change that.”

Haas linked with Maserati partnership – report

Date published: December 7 2017

The legendary brand of Maserati could reportedly return to Formula 1 for the first time in 60 years and become a title sponsor for Haas next season.

Fresh from Ferrari’s strengthened partnership with Sauber, which will see the Alfa Romeo brand become major sponsors of the Swiss team, Sergio Marchionne – CEO of Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (the parent company of both Alfa Romeo and Maserati – could pull the strings once again for the Haas team.

The American outfit have been self-funded in their first two years in Formula 1 and have, as it stands, a technical relationship with Ferrari who supply them with engine parts.

But, like Sauber, that partnership could be strengthened in the form of a major Ferrari-linked sponsor which some reports believe would generate an additional 20m Euros a year for Haas, who would feature the Maserati logo on their car. However, that will no doubt result in Ferrari having more of an input in Haas’ driver line-ups.

There is also another potential link between Haas and Maserati, as the American team work with Dallara on the chassis of their car. Dallara are close neighbours to Maserati and have also worked together on projects in the past.

Marchionne has recently suggested that a deal between Haas and Maserati could be in the pipeline.

“Is it possible for the Haas arrangement to turn into something other than what we have today? The answer is potentially ‘yes’,” he said.

“But we’re very far away from a resolution on that matter, but it’s possible. We’ll see, time will tell.”

Maserati has a rich history with Formula 1, with Juan Manuel Fangio winning two World Championships in a Maserati car in both 1954 and 1957.

Haas reject Giovinazzi return for 2018

Date published: December 7 2017

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has ruled out Antonio Giovinazzi returning to the American outfit next season, saying the situation was unhelpful.

Giovinazzi split duties between the Ferrari-supported Haas and Sauber last season in the hope of securing a full-time seat for 2018.

But Haas opted to retain Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, while Sauber announced Charles Leclerc as part of their 2018 line-up alongside Marcus Ericsson.

Giovinazzi will be acting as a reserve driver at Sauber next season, but Haas are not willing to give him the same opportunity to help continue his progression.

“I don’t think it helped us or our drivers,” Steiner told Denmark’s Ekstra Bladet.

“I cannot say how negative it was, but it was not positive. We will see what we are doing next year, but we have not talked about it yet.”

Ferrari: Sauber deal different to Haas’ one

Date published: December 6 2017

Sergio Marchionne says Ferrari’s relationship with Sauber is “totally different” to that with Haas, which is just technical support.

Although both teams are Ferrari customers, and will run their 2018 power unit next season, Ferrari’s relationship with Sauber goes deeper given their new link up with Alfa Romeo.

Last week Sauber announced Alfa Romeo, part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, as their new title sponsor while also signing Ferrari protege Charles Leclerc as Marcus Ericsson’s new team-mate.

“It’s a totally different arrangement,” Ferrari president Marchionne said of the Scuderia’s relationship with its two engine customers.

“Haas has been given access to Ferrari resources and to our powertrain, so there Ferrari is acting as technical support.

“The team is still very much Haas, it has no association with any car brand, and Gene [Haas] has decided to run his own products.

“This one [Sauber/Alfa Romeo] is a completely different arrangement, starting with identification of Alfa as being title sponsor for the car.

“[The] team already exists – it may not be fully staffed – but it already exists.

“The arrangement itself is completely different.”

He added: “Is it possible for the Haas arrangement to turn into something other than what we have today? The answer is potentially yes.

“But we’re very far away from a resolution on that matter, but it’s possible. We’ll see, time will tell.”