Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016

Dream start for Haas but life will only get tougher

2016 F1 season review

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Top-six finishes in their first two races proved a false dawn for Haas.

Nonetheless their debut season can only be judged a success as they finished ahead of three other teams. Perhaps most importantly, they were able to shift their priorities to 2017 sooner.

This was especially important for F1’s newest team. Their experienced principal Guenther Steiner is well aware that the second year is always tougher for a new entrant as it is the first time they have developed one car at the same time as refining another.

“We’ve been using a 60-percent scale model car in the wind tunnel since February, but from February to June we developed both cars (2016 and 2017) simultaneously,” he said. From July onwards it was “all hands on deck developing the 2017 car”.

Haas team stats 2016

Best race result (number)5 (1)
Best grid position (number) 7 (2)
Non-classifications (mechanical/other) 8 (6/2)
Laps completed (% of total) 2,126 (83.77%)
Laps led (% of total) 0 (0%)
Championship position (2015)8 (n/a)
Championship points (2015)29 (n/a)
Pit stop performance ranking9

The team began life promisingly, completing 31 laps on the first day of testing. Despite teething trouble with breaking wings – a problem which recurred later in the season – the VF-16 was reliable enough to get to the chequered flag in the opening races, at least in Romain Grosjean’s hands.

They did have a large number of non-terminal problems as well, however. Grosjean was driven to distraction by persistent brake and tyre problems, especially in the second half of the season when 2017 had become their priority.

It was an even more trying season for Esteban Gutierrez, who never made it into the points once. He at least gave the team their first Q3 appearance, at Suzuka, before spinning away his chances in the race. He has not been retained for next year.

In every other respect, however, Haas hope to thrive on consistency. “We have a long-standing contract in place with Ferrari that we can continue the business model we are doing,” said Steiner.

“We are going forward like this for the next few years and then we see, we rethink. But at the moment we are very happy with Ferrari, what they did for us over the year to get again to the point where we are now.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 13 comments on “Dream start for Haas but life will only get tougher”

    1. I don’t like the relationship this team has with Ferrari. It shows how low Ferrari will stoop given that they failed to sign the future world champion Max. Now Ferrari know they will struggle to beat max fairly and now want to influence another team by being a commercial partner.
      Haas won’t win a thing and neither will Ferrari. Next year is the Max show.

      1. Verstappen fan?

      2. How did Max get involved here?

      3. Odd comment, somehow creating something that has nothing to do with VES into a Max comment.

        I think the relationship favors Haas more than it does Ferrari. Having a close relationship with your power train manufacturer seems intelligent. Especially if you are in your first year of competition.

      4. Blackchat ? What – ? Please try to explain again..

      5. Verstappen fans are mostly 12-year-old children, as shown here.

    2. I think their first Q3 was Monza

      1. I believe you are right.

        @keithcollantine

      2. Indeed, it was Monza. Haas placed 10th in Q3

    3. Never forget, they had two years to prepare for 2016. All without the distraction of running an actual grand prix team.

      I know they have resources, but their next car has been his been in development for a shorter period of time, whilst running and improving their current car concurrently.

      This Ferrari parts thing, it has its drawbacks too. They will not know what they’re getting until the car is more or less finished, and they get what they’re given.

      It’ll be interesting to see how they get on.

      1. But isn’t it the same problems for teams using (buying) Mercedes or Renault motor?

        And latest the Haas team proudly told that they have used the windtunnel time only for their 2017 car in most of 2016..so they seems to be preperred with the aero..

        Hope the best for Haas…I like to see smaller teams doing a good job, taking points from the big ones – like the Lotus team did…

    4. The Ferrari motor and transmission is not bad at all..combined with the right aerodynamics and some luck – this car could reach top 8 on a ordinary day and a top 5 when rain and accidents covers the day.. might be catching Renault too…a midfield top team with commen sense – allready having fans..so whats the problem, its good business ?

    Comments are closed.