Belgian Grand Prix – Haas’ Guenther Steiner says that development on this year’s car has wound down, with the team now concentrating on their 2019 effort.
Heading to Spa-Francorchamps for the opening weekend of the second half of this season, Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner has confirmed that they have shifted their focus onto the development of the 2019 car already.
“We started the 2019 car a few weeks ago and there’s no point in developing the 2018 car any longer because if you do continue development, by the time you manufacture the parts, it’s near the end of the season. The gains are too small to use the parts in only two or three races. We do have a few more parts coming, but that’s it for the development of the 2018 car.”
This is despite the team being in a close battle with Renault & Force India for position in the Constuctor’s Championship – they currently lie 16 points behind Renault, who occupy fourth in the standings. Steiner says that the team’s similarly early switch of focus last year allowed them to be as competitive as they have been: “For sure, it’s part of it. We had a good aerodynamically developed car at the beginning of this season, and the time we spent last year definitely contributed to that.”
“Yes, we will bring a few more [updates] to the next races. [But], they will not be big updates, but we will keep bringing them like everybody else. We’ve learned to produce upgrades, bring them to the car, and have them working. This is a step that we have achieved in 2018 that we did not have in 2017.”
With Formula 1 tweaking the aerodynamic rules for 2019, Steiner says the changes have had little effect in how much extra preparation the team need as a result:
“It hasn’t affected the planning. Maybe we switched a few sessions before because if we were only making an evolution of the 2018 car for next year, with the same regulations, you could use whatever you learned this year for next year’s car. By changing regulations you need to start a little more fresh. So, you have to focus a little bit before and you cannot use what you developed for the 2018 car on the 2019 car.”