Is Haas F1 bad for F1’s constructor model?

In 2007 there was a bit of a row in Formula 1 over the concept of customer cars. Prodrive’s David Richards was set to be the 12th team on the 2008 F1 grid and he was going to achieve that through the purchase of a chassis and go racing.

One of the strongest voices of opposition to this idea was Sir Frank Williams who had threatened legal action should Super Aguri use a similar tactic and purchase a Honda car or Toro Rosso in a Red Bull chassis. The allegation was that these teams were blurring the lines of actually being a constructor in F1.

Dave Richards was convinced the regulations allowed for customer cars but in the end, it was not allowed and in it’s place a simple list of parts that a team must produce itself in order to be called a constructor.

The list has become smaller and smaller over the years and this was the very thing that Guenther Steiner and Gene Haas used to create their new team. They may be, once again, blurring the lines of what is a constructor and what is a customer car but unlike Dave Richards and his failed attempt to join the grid, this time Haas has the FIA’s own regulations working on his side.

Once again, Williams F1 isn’t too keen as their technical director, Pat Symonds, told AUTOSPORT:

“The status of being a constructor has been gradually eroded,” said Symonds.

“Some would like it completely eroded.

“What Haas has done is good for him, but I don’t know if that is really the way F1 should be going.

“It’s absolutely legal but is it really what F1 wants? I’m not sure.

“When we had the original listed parts, the long list, it was quite pragmatic I thought.

“It allowed you to sell a few sensible things like transmissions which are high value, low performance impact.

“But it got whittled away. Some want it whittled even further.

“I would prefer F1 to have more of an emphasis on constructors.”

Had Haas F1 made their first showing in Autralia and finished last or near last, it may not have been the talking point for Symonds but as it is, they finished 6th in that race and some feel they are destined for a great year. I choose to be prudent in my expectations and as a biased American, I would like for them to do well but F1 is a tough old sport and different tracks breed different performances. Symonds agrees:

“With the pace in the race, we need to be careful how you judge it right the way through the field,” he said.

“I take nothing away from Haas, it’s a fantastic result.

“But on another circuit, would the Force India [of Nico Hulkenberg] have been behind for that long? I’m not sure.”

The issue really may be blurring the lines of customer cars but if the FIA don’t want this, then they will have to change the list of must-make parts that teams should produce themselves. Symonds may feel that Haas skirted the spirit of the law, it’s the letter of the law that is important here and Haas F1 comply.


Via formula1blog

Barcelona Test II- Day one & two

F1 teams have just two days left to hone their cars out on track before the racing begin in two weeks time at the Australian Grand Prix.

On day one of the second test, Mercedes showed their hand for the first time so far in 2016 as Nico Rosberg set blistering pace on the soft tyres.

What was all the more impressive was that the German finished more than two tenths ahead of Valtteri Bottas who was on the ultrasoft tyres, two compounds faster than Rosberg’s softs.

Ferrari had a tough day with problems hampering Kimi Raikkonen’s efforts to get used to the new SF16-H.

Fernando Alonso managed a solid day for McLaren after several technical problems hindered them during the first test.

Felipe Nasr had a very productive first day in the new Sauber C35, managing over 100 laps. But Haas suffered a trying day curtailed by a fuel system problem.

Today things didn’t get any better for F1’s newest team with Haas mustering up just one lap.

At the other end of the grid, Bottas took Williams to the top of the time sheets.

It was a high mileage day for most of the teams with Toro Rosso leading the way followed by Mercedes.

And Ferrari were left feeling more confident as Sebastian Vettel completed more than 150 laps following yesterday’s problems.

Marcus Ericsson caused the only red flag of the session after spinning off during his first day in the team’s new C35.

Williams unveil 2016 challenger

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Williams have unveiled their challenger for the 2016 Formula 1 world championship.

The FW38 is a largely evolutionary car and shares many traits with its 2015 predecessor.

For the past two seasons the team have enjoyed success with multiple trips to the podium and finished third in the constructors championship too.

In 2015 their car was a relative match for the Ferrari but as the season progressed, the British outfit struggled to keep up with the rejuvenated Italian team.

Commenting on the new FW38 Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal, said; “Williams has started to cement our position back amongst the front running teams after finishing third in the Championship in the past two seasons.

“This has been a great achievement given the resources of those around us. Staying where we are will be a challenge in itself, but we are determined to keep improving because only winning will ever be good enough”

Their drivers lineup will remain unchanged for a third successive season with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

Williams drop Massa disqualification appeal

Williams drops appeal against Massa's Brazilian GP exclusionWilliams have said that they will no longer appeal Felipe Massa’s disqualification from the Brazilian Grand Prix.

After the race at the Interlagos circuit it was deemed that the Brazilian started with tyres that were too hot.

The Williams’s right rear tyre was almost 30 degrees warmer than the limit set by Pirelli and the FIA.

Williams had said that they would appeal Massa’s disqualification citing that they had independent censors that proved the tyre to be in the legal limit.

But the team have subsequently decided to let the penalty stand.

“Following detailed consideration the team has concluded that despite not agreeing with the exclusion and believing it has sufficient evidence with which to successfully contest the ruling, it will not formally appeal the decision as a hearing date is unlikely to be available until after the end of the season impacting a time when the team wishes to turn its attention to its 2016 campaign.

“Given the financial climate of the sport, and the fact that the decision does not impact the team’s Constructors’ Championship position, it has been decided that this would be an unnecessary cost to endure.”

Massa disqualified from Brazilian GP

Felipe Massa podium - 2014 Italian Grand Prix (02).jpgFelipe Massa has been disqualified from his home race after the FIA deemed his tyres to be too warm before the start of the race.

Pirelli and the FIA give guidance on tyre temperatures for every race and it was decided that Massa’s right rear tyre was 27 degrees too warm as the race began.

Therefore the FIA have taken the decision to disqualify the Brazilian from the race.

The expulsion of the Williams driver who had finished in 8th place means that Romain Grosjean is promoted to 8th. Max Verstappen moves to 9th and Pastor Maldonado now picks up the final point.

Williams have said that they will appeal the decision.

This is Massa’s second race disqualification in his 13 year career, he was suspended from the 2007 Canadian GP for leaving the pits under red lights.

Confirmed Brazilian GP race results:

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. Valtteri Bottas
  6. Nico Hulkenberg
  7. Daniil Kvyat
  8. Romain Grosjean
  9. Max Verstappen
  10. Pastor Maldonado
  11. Daniel Ricciardo
  12. Sergio Perez
  13. Felipe Nasr
  14. Jenson Button
  15. Fernando Alonso
  16. Marcus Ericsson
  17. Will Stevens
  18. Alexander Rossi

DNF-Carlos Sainz
DSQ-Felipe Massa