As time rolls on and the lingering question over the Haas F1 and Ferrari relationship festers in social media circles with hints, innuendos and allegations, I find some of the responses interesting such as the one over at Autosport this morning.
As folks try and parse the exact nature of the relationship between Ferrari and Haas, perhaps the unsung hero in this surge in pace for 2018 could be down to a chassis manufacturer who is honing their F1 skills over three seasons.
“Dallara is a crucial part of the team and they’ve stepped up this year too,” said driver Kevin Magnussen.
“If you look at the car, the parts look much better this year – cleaner and better quality.
“That’s very, very important, it means a lot.
“We can design the car in CFD and in a computer, and that’s working in CFD and that’s working in the wind tunnel, but if we don’t get an actual car that was what we meant it to be, then it’s not good.
“They’ve done a really good job on their side. Hopefully they will continue, because they’re learning as well.
“It’s very good for their business being involved in this project, I’m sure they are improving not only our Formula 1 cars, but their cars as well.”
The fact is, Dallara make a lot of things and have been involved in racing for a long time and perhaps three years with Haas has been quite a learning curve. The team have one of the best power units on the grid so it was very clear where the deficit was over the past two seasons. The same could be said of Williams and Force India for sure. Same engine, different chassis and off the pace with the works team.
What the Haas F1 program showed with the technical partnership with Ferrari was that it can radically reduce the ramp up time it would take a team who enters F1 organically and starts from scratch. Kevin’s teammate, Romain Grosjean, agreed.
“I think the way we operate the team and the way we created that partnership with Ferrari is good for F1,” said Grosjean.
“It shows you can come in and make things look pretty good in a short amount of time.
“Of course if we had to do everything from zero we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
The fact is, it may be the very vehicle that lures other future privateers into the sport but if Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari are not willing to supply additional teams or the other customer teams pressure the FIA to do away with the customer program Haas enjoys, it will dissuade new teams from entering.
Haas may have an ace up their sleeve in a chassis maker who has learned their chops over three years and are now poised to compete with Force India, Williams, Renault, Sauber and McLaren in the aerodynamic and chassis development war. If that’s the case, Ferrari may have little to do with the newfound success of Hass in 2018. Of course, it’s only been one race, let’s see how they are doing after a half dozen.
Hat Tip: Autosport