Stewart-Haas Racing and his Formula 1 team were massive misfires for Gene Haas in 2021
It’s just a guess, but Kevin Harvick and the rest of Stewart-Haas Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series contenders might be able to explain the disappointing 2021 season in three words: Trust the process. Gene Haas admits he took R&D money from his Formula 1 team, so it stands to reason he may have done the same at SHR for a similar reason.
Unfortunately for the Stewart-Haas Racing drivers and their fans, there is no draft pick pending to end a year with a win.
SHR co-owner is big business in racing around the world
The racing media were eager to draw comparisons between the two organizations on October 24 when Formula One entered the Circuit of the Americas in Texas while NASCAR led a playoff race 700 miles from Kansas Speedway. The premise was that F1, which has two races scheduled here for 2022, is on the rise in the United States as interest in NASCAR may stagnate.
No clear conclusion emerged, but there were results, with Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing triumphing in Austin while Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports won in Kansas City. None of these developments have been surprising since the drivers lead their respective circuits in victories this year.
It was also no surprise that Gene Haas’ cars did not reach the victory lane. It has been history throughout the season. Haas has skin in the game in both NASCAR and Formula 1. He is co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Tony Stewart, but he’s even more invested in F1.
Formula 1 went three decades without an American as the main team owner before Haas bought the financially struggling Marussia team in 2015 and began fielding cars the following year, buying engines from Ferrari. and entrusting the team’s operations to Guenther Steiner, previously Technical Director. for Jaguar and Ferrari.
Gene Haas admits to cutting spending in Formula 1
American racing fans have already heard a lot about the NASCAR Cup Series which would make significant changes in 2022 with the introduction of the Next Gen car. However, Formula 1 will also be different in 2022 after postponing some major changes per year due to the pandemic.
The new design of the Formula 1 car calls for the first time for winglets on the wheels, the restoration of the hubcaps and changes to the shape of the nose and front fender. The effect on aerodynamics is expected to be substantial, with officials projecting less âdirty airâ and more up-close races.
From the Haas team’s perspective, things can only get better after the changes start. This is because drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin have gone through the season without placing in the top 10 in the 20-car peloton. It completes a spectacular fall from 2018, when Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen lifted the Haas team to a respectable fifth place in the constructors’ standings.
Talk to The Associated Press after another dismal finish in Austin, Gene Haas conceded it was a throwaway season for him in Formula 1.
âYou could spend $ 10-20 million and maybe go up a post,â Haas said. âIt wasn’t worth the money. We just decided to put all our money in the 22 car. â
Haas said the initial comments were encouraging. Yet there is no guarantee that will translate into results.
âThe good thing is that because it’s a whole new format, no one can really copy someone else,â he said. âThe 10 teams are going to have 10 unique cars. We’ll see who gets lucky.
The Stewart-Haas Racing dashboard for 2021 has been disappointing
The frustrating NASCAR Cup season for Stewart-Haas Racing has been carefully documented. The numbers don’t improve no matter how many times you look at them:
- Kevin Harvick has gone from nine wins a year ago to none with two races to go this season. The driver of the No.4 Ford recorded just 10 top-five rankings, his worst productivity since 2013.
- Aric Almirola won at Loudon, but he only recorded two more top-10s.
- Chase Briscoe is on the shortlist for the most disappointing driver of 2021. After winning nine Xfinity races last year, he’s 23.rd in points during his rookie Cup Series season.
- Cole Custer slipped from 16e place in his rookie season at 27e This year.
Considering what team co-owner Gene Haas has said about cutting spending in Formula 1 ahead of the car modifications, is it possible that SHR reduced off-season R&D in light? from NASCAR to the next generation car?
The results certainly suggest that it is possible.
All statistics are courtesy of Race reference.
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