Haas responds to rival’s allegations

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Formula 1 likes a bit of controversy. It adds friction and build competitive spirit as well as innuendos and allegations. The Haas F1 team has been in F1 for a few years now under what is called a non-listed parts arrangement meaning they are buying parts from a list of allowable parts to be outsourced and building car around those parts.

It is a substantial list but it is fully within the FIA regulations. Regardless, some teams, such as Force India, have suggested that an investigation should be launched into the situation as Haas F1 locked out the third row and ran ahead of Red Bull at the season-opening race in Australia.

The thought here is that the team know about the non-listed parts arrangement, but they fear that the technical partnership with Ferrari has gone beyond just supplying parts with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso calling this year’s Haas a Ferrari replica. Haas F1 has answered.

“Everybody is allowed to have an opinion. Some people have an opinion, which I think is based on no facts,” said team boss Gunther Steiner.

“I think the whole of Haas F1 team can be proud of the work done between last year and over the winter to produce the VF-18 and get it into its competitive condition.

“It’s merit to them. They can be proud. If people have an issue, fine with me. We report what we are doing, like everybody else, to the FIA. That’s why I’m more than confident we are not doing anything wrong.”

The Dallara chassis is one component that Haas purchases along with front suspension, engine gearbox and a series of other parts from Ferrari. The team also has access to Ferrari’s wind tunnel.

A few years ago (2009-2012) there were some complications with two teams using the same Aerolab wind tunnel and it was alleged that Lotus F1 (1 Malaysia) had become privy to the test results and aerodynamic structure of the Force India which had tested there. It was a complicated situation regarding lack of payment, CAD files that were copied to personal folders and the entrance of new team for the 2013 season. You can read more about it here.

Point is, concern over Hass F1’s design being similar to Ferrari and the innuendo that the team could be benefitting from sharing of information etc.

“I’m perfectly fine with how we do business,” said Steiner.

“We design our own aero, as per the regulations, and yes, we use mechanical parts from Ferrari, but everybody’s known that for the past two years. We are well above board, and happy to be where we are.”

I’ve seen side-by-side comparisons and to be honest, the areas of development are very limited in F1 so the results of all cars is that they are similar. If you consider that all the F1 cars look kind of the same, that’s because the regulations are very specific and the engineers that work on the cars all have the same great ideas and approaches to these areas that they can develop in.

Also, Gene Haas is no stranger to creating winning race teams and cars. He’s been doing that for years now so is it a shock that his team are methodically moving forward on the grid? Maybe not. Unless the FIA can find concrete evidence of collusion between Ferrari and Haas, I think the other team will have to concede that the non-listed parts gambit works and if anything else, it should prompt more teams to enter F1 and be competitive.

There is a fine line between the regulations of a constructor having to build their car and the non-listed parts program. I understand the desire to not have customer teams in F1 but I also understand that for the health of the series and a full grid, this may not be a bad concept and if Ferrari or Mercedes leave in 2021 due to the new regulations, customer teams may be needed period.

It’s not unprecedented as Sir Frank Williams got his start in F1 this way. In those days you could buy a March chassis, a Ford DFV engine and go racing and be competitive. How do you feel about customer cars? How do you feel about non-listed parts team programs? We said at the time that Gene would have been better off doing the non-listed parts program and acquiring Manor F1 and he would have saved even more money. He eventually agreed but nonetheless, a new team could acquire Sauber, Toro Rosso, Force India or Williams and do just that.

Hat tip: Reuters

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Mike

My thoughts, back in the 70’s engines, tires, some components, some suspension parts and most electronics were made by another manufacturer, most everything else created by a F1 constructer. Fast forward to today, and we have multi-million dollar wind tunnels needed for the insane female-alien-mother-looking front wings and unobtainium exhaust metallurgy. The issue to my simple mind is NOT being a parts car, but to what percentage? Everybody is a parts car. Even Mercedes and Ferrari who create their own engines still use McLaren electronics if I’m correct. Reduce the freaking aero dependency and bring front/rear wings something not so… Read more »

sunny stivala

The McLaren electronics FERRARI and Mercedes use are those standard FIA mandated parts that McLaren won the FIA tender to supply.
If one keeps going back in time he will end-up in the “customer car” era. but in recent years force india began the model of “buying” the engine, gearbox and back-end of the car from McLaren Mercedes and also began the system of sharing back-room functions as a cost saving move (technical cooperation and the sharing of common parts) with McLaren.

sunny stivala

“The Dallara chassis is one component that HAAS purchases along…” Sorry but that is not correct, The HAAS chassis manufacture is outsourced to Dallara and not bought as a component from Dallara, in fact the HAAS chassis property rights belongs to HAAS. The difference with Force India who also outsource the manufacture of their chassis is HAAS haven’t yet ran into problems of payment for their outsourced parts.

sunny stivala

Yes, exactly. they outsource the manufacture exactly like force india do.

The Weight Transfer

Sounds like a bunch of haters to me.

subcritical71

I’m for whatever can get cars which are competitive on track so we can see some real racing. One second gaps isn’t real car racing, it’s an engineering race (which I also like, but there has to be a better balance). This would not be about being a spec series (although I believe every racing series is in some form a spec series). Spec series in their strictest form are good for grass roots racing. I would say the only caveat to purchasing parts would be that the supplier needs to make what they run as the option that is… Read more »

sunny stivala

I gave a list of what can be purchased from a manufacturer by a team and also a list of what the buyer team must provide themselves (possess the intellectual property rights for) as per the rules/regulations that will still qualify the buyer as a constructer, that list was 2 years old and it might have been shortened. As for software and mapping buying by a customer team that is something not possible, I am assuming that by “software and mapping” is meant as regards the power unit. Because a customer team buys “the use” of a power unit supply… Read more »