Rival F1 Teams Claim Ferrari Is Helping Haas More Than The Regs Allow

After owning the third row of the grid in qualifying during the season opener in Melbourne last week, and also showing exceptional pace during the race, Haas’ performance has raised more than a few eyebrows.

Despite both cars retiring from the race, their pace caught the attention of Force India and McLaren execs Otmar Szafnauer and Zak Brown, respectively.

The latter, after Fernando Alonso labelled the 2018 Haas car a “Ferrari replica”, told Autosport that the Haas was “something that needs to be looked at closely.”

“We all know they have a very close alliance with Ferrari and I think we just need to make sure it’s not too close. There could be some influence, there’s certainly some parts of the car that look very similar to last year’s car. But that’s for the engineers and the FIA to look at more closely.”

Meanwhile, Szafnauer went a step further in saying “I don’t know how they do it, it’s magic. It’s never been done before in Formula 1. I just don’t know how it can be right that someone who’s been in the sport for a couple of years with no resource could produce a car… does it happen by magic? If it does, I want the wand.

“Maybe it [aerodynamic surfaces] is their own, it’s just suspect – how can you gain that knowledge without history and the right tools and people?”

According to F1 regulations, passing on or receiving information on parts that are supposed to be produced by the teams themselves is strictly forbidden. Ferrari, however, supplies Haas with parts the American outfit can’t build itself and also allows Dallara, Haas’s chassis partner, to use its wind tunnel.

Haas F1 team principal, Gunther Steiner, challenged the notion that his team might be receiving more support from Ferrari that what is allowed under current F1 regulations.

“Some people have an opinion, which I think is based on no facts. It does not have a lot of value to 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.”

Steiner then went on to say that he’s perfectly fine with the way his team does business: “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.”

Haas is now looking to capitalize on its pace in Bahrain following its drivers’ DNFs at the Australian Grand Prix.

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  • scalextric

    Hiring engineers from a top team with knowledge of their design philosophy + copy, copy, copy = efficient way to move up the grid for a team with very limited resource.

    Unless someone can point at something actually illegal seems to be a strategy brilliantly executed by Haas.

    • Unless you read F1 regulations before commenting you know that it is illegal. Engineers can’t work on two teams nor sharing designs.

      What Haas did if great for them, but in long term it will kill off other middle and lower grid team like Williams and Force India, who has no access like Haas did.

      • scalextric

        It is common engineers in F1 change teams. While directly sharing design drawings etc is illegal, sharing and applying their knowledge and expertise in a new team is not.

        As it happens, likely for reasons of their technical partnership and geography as Dallara, which develops Haas chassis is based up the road from Maranello, Haas does actually employ many ex-Ferrari engineers.

        • It is common but what other teams alleges is that Haas received more than former personnel but it also includes data and even drawing. Given that other teams operate their own windtunnel and all, the use of Ferrari windtunnel by Dallara causes a lot of envy.

  • ChrisInIL

    I used to find team whining and overblown driver egos annoying. Now, it’s sort of endearing. When I don’t hear it, I wonder what’s wrong.

  • Jhon electron

    Szafnauer forget what Brawn GP did in its first season. They took an useless Honda to convert it in a winning machine without the help on any constructor.

    • Honda wasn’t useless, in fact if Honda stay that year they could have become the winning car. What Brawn achieved is amazing indeed but they are basically 2009 Honda developed car.

  • smartacus

    agreed. Prosecute by FIA, not by Press.
    McLaren just did the unforgivable.

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