Haas team principal Guenther Steiner remains optimistic as one of Formula 1’s smallest squads it can still be competitive in a compressed 2020 season.

Like the rest of the F1 grid, Haas has been put into shutdown amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, while the team has taken steps to financially protect its future by furloughing the majority of its British-based staff.

Facing the prospect of an intense 2020 F1 season, with the plan to run three consecutive races followed by one weekend off, the sport’s management hopes to put on up to 19 races if racing can get underway by July.

With less flexibility to its bigger rivals in terms of personnel and resources, Haas team boss Steiner is still confident his team can meet the challenges having learnt from previous tough times including struggling to understand its 2019 F1 car.

“We’ve been through tough things already. We have less people and we are used to bigger challenges than the big team who have two people for every job, and we have one person. But that’s what we have,” Steiner told Formula1.com.

“We can cope with it. It’ll be challenging for our people, but a challenge is an opportunity. Hopefully we can do well. It won’t be easy but it won’t be easy for anybody. We will do the best we can and hopefully we will do a better job than others do with more people.”

Depending on how the 2020 F1 season shapes up, Steiner is already planning for a change of approach given the tighter turnaround between races. Haas is believed to be one of the F1 teams with the smallest operating budgets as well as the least experienced team on the grid having joined the sport in 2016.

Steiner accepts its original development plans for the season will not be feasible and instead wants to use a “simpler” approach to provide clearer gains from its F1 car.

“Everybody’s approach will change,“ he explained. “You can’t just develop and put upgrades on the car. If we have 15 races in six months, that’s a hell of a job. You need to make your life not easy, but simpler so you don’t make mistakes.

“If you make it difficult, and open up the possibility of making mistakes, there are only downsides. You spend money doing it, and trying to find out what went wrong, and you have no results which is no good.”

 

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