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F1 Australian GP: ‘Gap year’ pays off for patient Haas

Gene Haas says he very happy he went ahead and deferred his team's F1 entry to 2016 in order to better prepare it for its debut
Gene Haas says he very happy he went ahead and deferred his team's F1 entry to 2016 in order to better prepare it for its debut.

The American team, which enters F1 having developed a successful name for itself in NASCAR, had originally planned to enter in 2015, but opted to delay its plans until 2016 as a precaution to give it all the time it needed to fully prepare.

It would go on to prove a shrewd decision, with its maiden car, the VF16, showing encouraging pace out of the box before turning it a remarkable sixth place finish on its F1 debut courtesy of Romain Grosjean in the Australian Grand Prix.

Indeed, while Haas suggests it would be made a 2015 start, he reckons the team would still be 'scrambling', with the decision to defer proving a far better long-term decision.

“We have taken our time. We wanted to go racing in 2015 but I look back and there is so much complexity to the sport that the extra year gave us the ability to come here and have everything in place to be competitive over the five years.

“If we hadn't have done that we would have been scrambling and we would still be scrambling. I think we have a better launch platform now because everything is in position. It takes time to order equipment, but we have the equipment and we are ready to go.

Even so, despite the extra year, Haas admits there has still been a lot of last minute preparations, even down to the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

“You have way too much time or not enough, you never get it right. The problem with having too much time is you have to wait until the last minute to do things, so you're scrambling. This race weekend is no different. When it comes down to an actual performance it is trial by fire.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16 practices a pit stop. 04.03.2016.
18.03.2016 - Free Practice 1, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
Esteban Gutierrez - Haas F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16 leads Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16

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