Haas team principal Guenther Steiner doesn’t expect Formula 1’s planned shake-up and budget cap to create major change in the sport until after the first year.

With 2021 seeing a budget cap of $175 million installed for each team in F1 along with other key changes to the technical and financial rules, the sport is bracing for its biggest overhaul in over a decade with the ultimate goal of closing up the competition.

But with the majority of F1 teams already preparing for the 2021 changes, Steiner believes “there will still be the big three [Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull] and then the rest” as the top teams will be able to channel more resources for the regulations before the budget cap is applied.

“As always, the big teams will always have an advantage,” Steiner said. “They just have more resources and more people to develop the 2021 car to the new regulations, while at the same time developing a 2020 car.

“The budget cap comes in place in 2021. In the first years I don’t see a big difference in how the pecking order between the teams stacks up. There will still be the big three and then the rest. We know that.”

Despite his pessimism over the first year of changes, Steiner remains optimistic and supports the overall plans as he expects the impact to ramp up over the following seasons.

“Hopefully, the gap closes a little bit to the big ones over time. For sure, we will try to do our best with whatever we have got to develop a good 2021 car,” he said.

With Haas shifting focus to its 2020 preparations as early as August, the US team boss hopes for a strong final showing to a difficult year which has seen it struggle for pace and sits ninth in the F1 world constructors’ championship.

Having felt hamstrung by its early-season upgrade introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix, Steiner wants Haas to learn from the tough lessons of this year and avoid the same mistakes in 2020.

“I would say there is a silver lining. We started to react during the summer break to work on the 2020 car – to try to avoid the mistakes we’ve made this year,” Steiner said. “We don’t want to repeat them. We’re just moving forward, analysing and working hard on the 2020 car.

“One thing I would do is to just do something different after we introduced the upgrade in Barcelona. I would listen a little bit more to the drivers and be a little bit more self-critical.”

 

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