Apr.19 (GMM) Gunther Steiner has dismissed claims that Haas’ 2022 car is effectively a ‘white Ferrari’.
The small American team, despite the pre-season controversy about the Mazepins and ousted title sponsor Mazepin, has leapt up the grid with its all-new car for the new regulations.
“That came as a bit of a surprise,” Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer admits to Auto Motor und Sport.
“I didn’t expect the balance of power to change with such a big rule change because it favours the teams with more know-how and better infrastructure.
“But I’m sure the FIA will investigate and come to the right conclusions about how similar these two cars are.”
The question mark about Haas is only amplified by the fact that, throughout 2021, Haas was getting set up at a new base – on the grounds of Ferrari’s Maranello factory.
“For us it’s a question of principle,” McLaren boss Andreas Seidl said.
“Two teams shouldn’t have more than the engine and the internals of the gearbox in common. There shouldn’t be any sharing of infrastructure.
“The danger is that sharing information will make the B-team better whilst also helping the A-team,” he added.
A rumour even circulated in Melbourne recently that Ferrari had reacted to the controversy by ‘turning down’ the power of its obviously-better 2022 engine.
“What nonsense,” Steiner insists.
He also slammed suggestions that Ferrari and Haas collaborated to such an extent that Haas might now be regarded as an extension of the fabled Italian marque.
“Anyone who wants to get in there has to use their own entrance,” Steiner said. “Our computer systems are completely separate.
“No Formula 1 employee from Ferrari goes in there.”
Still, the suspicions are continuing to circulate – from the back of the grid to the very front.
“It’s a learning curve for us,” said Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, “because as an organisation of 2000 people that has been very successful in the past, we’re now struggling with teams that are much smaller.
“They must have done a great job.”
Nonetheless, he joins those who are calling on the FIA to look into the matter more closely.
“The change in personnel between two teams and the physical proximity of the infrastructure creates points of contention that are not good for our sport,” said Wolff.
“But if you do a good job, you should be recognised for it and not doubted. That’s why we have to find solutions in the future that prevent cooperations between two teams that are too close.”