Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says following his squad’s planned updates he sees ‘no point in developing the 2018 car any longer’ with an early focus on 2019 already in the picture.

The US team has been one of the star performers this year rocketing up to fifth in the Formula 1 world constructors’ championship by the summer break with key gains put down to its improved VF-18 car as well as impressive engine performance improvements from Ferrari.

Shock Moments of F1 2018… So far

Steiner feels last year’s early switch to developing its 2018 F1 car has duly paid dividends and is planning a similar push for next season. But as a result Steiner expects the 2019 move may eat into any ongoing development with its current car.

“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,” Steiner said. “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.”

“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.”

Steiner also says the 2019 rule tweaks, with simplified front wing and front brake ducts plus a wider rear wing, has not had a direct impact on the Haas car development plans. Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul feels any updates for its 2018 car will only be used if applicable to next year’s car.

“It hasn’t affected the planning,” Steiner said. “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.”