U.S. Haas F1 team determined to break ground in Formula 1
- Now in its sixth year of existence, the Haas F1 Team has established itself as the true backmarker of Formula 1 with 0 points scored in 2021
- Team principal Guenther Steiner said early on that the team was not committed to the development of the 2021 car, but instead focused on the new regulations in force for 2022.
- Rookie drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin have found themselves this season more often competing at the back of the field than playing with the leaders.
The North Carolina-based Haas F1 team are destined to finish last in this year’s Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship standings for the first time in their existence after rivals pulled out before Formula 1’s summer break.
Haas has finished eighth, eighth, fifth, ninth and ninth in the previous F1 Constructors’ Championship standings since debuting in 2016. While scoring points every season, Haas has actually given up on its 2021 outlook even before the season begins. .
The team is the only team without a point in the 2021 Formula 1 constructors’ standings, which means the two Haas drivers, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, have failed to finish in the top 10 in any race this season.
F1 manufacturer ranking 2021
Across 11 of 23 races
- Mercedes 303
- Red Bull 291
- Ferrari 163
- McLaren 163
- Alpine 77
- Alpha Tauri 68
- Aston Martin 48
- Williams 10
- Alfa Romeo 3
- Haas 0
The rumor mill had team owner Gene Haas facing doubts about the team’s mere existence in early 2020 as the pandemic produced a litany of unknowns. A sponsorship injection from billionaire businessman Dmitry Mazpin helped the team’s results, but Haas still decided to turn off the money tap for the 2021 program. The 12-month postponement of the new regulations Formula 1 meant the team faced an extra season of survival. His 2020 car, which was just an evolution of the unloved and delicate 2019 package, has been altered only to comply with the amended 2021 rules.
Ahead of the 2021 season, the team signed two rookies, Ferrari-backed Mick Schumacher and well-funded Nikita Mazepin (son of Dmitry) to replace veterans Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. A new livery arrived whose color scheme prompted comparisons to the flag of Russia, Mazepin’s home country, with his father’s Uralkali company providing the title sponsorship.
He prepared for a year of first-round outings of qualifying each week, blue-flag races and occasional crashes as his rookie drivers picked up speed in Formula 1. Halfway through, it turned out. is unfolded this way. The team did as much as the second round of qualifying just once while Schumacher, who finished each race remarkably, was passed 17 times in 11 races.
Williams, last from 2018 to 2020, took home a 10 point windfall in the crazy Hungarian GP. Alfa Romeo only has three, but even hitting that number seems like an unlikely ambition for Haas this season.
“The chances are very low,” agreed Haas team manager Guenther Steiner to avoid the dreaded P10 in the team standings. “I’m very realistic about these things.
“We started out knowing that with this car there was no point in investing (in for 2021) because the car was not good in 2019. Last year we stopped development altogether, so investing a lot – not just money, but people is not something you want to do. Even with a good job we would still be in the lower midfield than max, so we decided to do everything for next year. Hope this pays off. I’m convinced we can get back to midfield, but how far is too early (to say).
Despite the difficult campaign so far, Steiner pointed out, there have been some shining moments.
“There are a lot of good things we learned in the first half of the season, we just have to take them and do more in the second half,” said Steiner. “There weren’t a lot of negative points, but if there are negative points, we have to talk about them. We can’t just say “everything is good” until it is really bad. It’s very competitive, and if you’re not honest about things, you will never be successful in this sport.
Haas F1 through the years
- 2016 29
- 2017 47
- 2018 93
- 2019 28
- 2020 3
- 2021 0
Haas rookies Schumacher and Mazepin apparently face 12 more races with just the other car for company, and Steiner encourages wheel-to-wheel action in between.
“In a race, even if they are running with teammates, as long as they don’t meet each other I want them to run because that’s when they learn,” said Steiner. “If I tell them to go online (and keep the position), it’s not sport.
“Obviously, I never asked them to crash, during a practice or qualifying session! But we are not changing (the approach).
Haas can only hope that its 2022 car will allow Schumacher and Mazepin to trade more than last row spots and P19s.
Is Haas F1 Team a failed experiment? Can the team bounce back in midfield in 2022? If so, who falls to the bottom? Start a conversation in the comments section below.
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