Mercedes customers can't complain about Ferrari gains - Haas

Haas Formula 1 team boss Gunther Steiner says Mercedes’ customers cannot complain about Ferrari’s engine gains given the power advantage they have enjoyed in recent years. 

Mercedes customers can't complain about Ferrari gains - Haas

While Mercedes dominated the first few years of F1’s V6 turbo-hybrid era that began in 2014, Ferrari has made significant ground up over the last two years and is widely regarded as having the benchmark engine now in 2018.

That has helped its customer teams, Haas and Sauber, move up the midfield order, with Haas emerging as best-of-the-rest behind Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull on many occasions in 2018.

“Mercedes customers shouldn’t complain because they had a very good engine the last four years,” Steiner told Motorsport.com.

“The first years of these regulations, if you didn’t have a Mercedes engine, you were nowhere. Now Ferrari has overtaken them and everybody having a Ferrari engine are critiqued – ‘Oh, you’ve got the good engine’.

“Yeah we have. So did you the last four years and you didn’t take advantage of it. So what can I do? I’m very happy. If the other ones are unhappy, I cannot help them.”

Before Ferrari’s engine gains became apparent this year, Haas was already being questioned by rivals over its technical relationship with the Italian manufacturer.

After the failures of F1’s trio of new teams in 2010 – HRT, Virgin (then Marussia and Manor) and Lotus (then Caterham) – F1’s listed and non-listed parts rules, which facilitated the Haas-Ferrari relationship, have allowed Haas to be competitive at a lower cost since it joined the grid in 2016.

“These were not stupid people,” said Steiner of the 2010 teams. “It’s just a very difficult sport.

“We tried a different way because the regulations allow it and it seems to be working better than the others. If somebody now replicates our business model, I’m fine with it.

“Everybody is free to do it and it’s good. If this makes the sport better, I’m happy, I’ve no problem with it.”

When asked about how ‘Ferrari replica’ comments affect the team, driver Romain Grosjean said: “It makes us laugh. 

“We know we’ve got the chance to have the Ferrari relationship and have the suspension, the gearbox, the engine. We don’t have the resource to build those parts, neither the wish to do so.”

Steiner added: “If they get wound up and think to do something illegal, I don’t even think about it. I know for sure their facts are wrong, so I don’t really care.”

Haas is currently fifth in the constructors’ standings, trailing Renault by just 16 points, having banked its best result in F1 earlier this year with fourth place in Austria. 

Grosjean, who scored that result, said: “People thinking that in the third year of the team we would be fighting for fourth in the constructors’ championship, we’d have been laughing - and here we are.”

shares
comments
The drive behind Mercedes' heir to Hamilton

Previous article

The drive behind Mercedes' heir to Hamilton

Next article

Verstappen: Honda engine penalties misleading in 2018

Verstappen: Honda engine penalties misleading in 2018
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Prime

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Prime

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship.

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021