Haas’ relationship with Ferrari has been under great scrutiny since the American outfit entered the sport at the start of 2016.

Haas currently uses Ferrari’s wind tunnel for development, while using various parts from the Italian manufacturer which are outlined in the FIA’s ‘listed parts’.

With the cost cap in place and development time stricter, there’s some concern that teams such as Ferrari who have Haas using their facilities, can gain an unfair advantage with additional data.

Speaking at the Australian Grand Prix, a number of team bosses shared their opinions on the current B-team situation in F1.

“I think it needs reform, because we want to avoid these kinds of discussions that we have now, the polemic around the last few days or last few weeks, everybody deserves to perform well, and people should get credit when they've done a good job,” Wolff said. “But some of the job-hopping or entity-hopping on the same premises is just creating arguments that are not necessary for the sport. 

“So definitely for us, you know, we have Aston Martin in the wind tunnel that we had two years ago. Quite a shitstorm about that. We have been handling them with the utmost diligence. 

“But going forward, if we were to need to compromise our, let's say, income ability, we need to do this, because none of the teams should be able to cooperate in a way that we're seeing today, with some of the teams.”

Alfa Romeo has reduced its involvement with Ferrari over the years and has built its own gearbox for this season.

Team principal Frédéric Vasseur disagreed that the rules need changing but stressed the need for them to be applied correctly.

“I'm not sure that we have to change the regulation, it's exactly the same story on the financial one also that we have to apply the rule,” Vasseur explained. “And the rule is strict enough to make it fair that at the end of the day, that the financial regulation, a good example, you just have to stick to the rule. 

“And if you stick to the rule, it's more than OK. And it's why I think that we are trusting the FIA, because they have to do the job of the regulator and they are doing it, they are on it. And for me, it's OK like this.”

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer admitted he was a bit sceptical of Haas’ improvement over the winter.

“It's a small team that's done well over the winter, from last to sometimes third-fastest team,” he added. “And it's a bit surprising. I thought – although Toto didn't – that the pecking order would stay almost the same because generally, in a big regulation change, over the years that I've been in Formula 1, the bigger the regulation change, the more it favours those with knowhow and the infrastructure and the tools to actually exploit the new rules. 

“So, it's a bit surprising that the Haas are where they are for a small team – but I trust the FIA will investigate and come to the right conclusion between how similar the two cars are.”

McLaren’s firmer stance

Andreas Seidl expressed McLaren’s firmer stance on the B-team alliances.

“And it's clear for us that Formula 1 should be a championship of 10 constructors, or 11 or 12, which means there should be no transfer happening of any IP which is related to core performance,” Seidl explained. “For us, it's clear Formula 1… the maximum that should be allowed to share is the power units and the gearbox internals. 

“That's it, there should be no sharing of any infrastructure and so on, because as soon as you allow that, IP transfer is happening on the car side and we know also from FIA, it's difficult to police and if something is not possible to police, you need to ban it. And for two reasons: because it makes B teams overly competitive compared to teams like us and at the same time, there's the A teams also benefiting from this which is even more worrying for us. 

“And we just hope with all the dialogue which is happening also with F1, with the FIA between several teams also, that we finally see some action in the next years in order to correct this situation.”