Gene Haas has confessed his team's collaboration with Ferrari was originally never his intention when entering F1 but accepts it was a positive move given his squad's success in its debut campaign.
The founder and Chairman of the Haas F1 team is relishing his second season in Formula 1 after 'surprising' the competition by exceeding targets to finish eighth in the F1 constructors' championship – beating Renault, Sauber and Manor.
Haas has set his squad the goal of moving 'one or two places higher' in 2017 and is confident they can progress with the boost of one year's experience, all team members and facilities in place and the new addition of Kevin Magnussen alongside Romain Grosjean.
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However, the American owner has admitted its collaboration with Ferrari, an extensive engine and technical partnership while chassis assistance comes from Dallara, had never been in its original plans and was a late call due to a 'monumental task' of setting up a new F1 team.
“When we first started in Formula One, the whole idea was that we were going to make everything ourselves,” Haas said. “We were going to be the traditional constructor where we were going to make our own chassis, suspension, components and aero.
“But it was a massive undertaking, so we reversed course a bit and said, 'Okay, who could we partner with?,' because this is such a monumental task there's no way that we can accomplish this in the eight or nine months we had to do it.
"So we had a complete change in strategy. That's when we ended up partnering with Ferrari.”
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Haas currently has a multi-year partnership agreement with Ferrari, considered by some as a Ferrari B-team, but that type of deal has since been snuffed out by the FIA after closing a loophole in the regulations at the end of 2015 to ensure any new or existing teams run independently.
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