New Haas recruit Simone Resta will be working “99%” on its 2022 Formula 1 car by the end of the month, according to team principal Guenther Steiner.

With a raft of changes coming to F1 next year as part of an overhaul to the technical regulations, teams are having to balance their development between this year’s cars and the new generation coming in 2022.

The dilemma is eased slightly by the majority of the 2020 car - including the chassis - being carried over into 2021, but work still needs to be carried out with the new 2021 aerodynamic changes in mind.

Haas’ technical department has been bolstered by the signing of former Ferrari chassis engineer Resta, who becomes the American team’s first-ever technical director.

Following his departure from Ferrari in December, Resta has been involved in the design process for the 2021 car, but by the end of February, he will almost be fully focused on the team’s 2022 challenger.

“He’s spent the first few weeks getting himself accustomed with what we’re doing,” Steiner told Formula1.com.

“He has got involved in this year’s car - there were some design changes because of the regulation changes but now, 80% of his time is focused on 22’, and by end of February it will be 99% focused on 22.”

Haas’ preparations for the upcoming 2021 season have already hit a setback, with the fire up of its 2021 car delayed until the team gets to Bahrain for pre-season testing due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

The US outfit is fielding a revised driver line-up featuring two rookies in the shape of reigning Formula 2 champion Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, but Steiner is not expecting wholesale improvements following a tough 2020 campaign.

“We are preparing to be better, but I don’t know what the reality will be,” Steiner explained. “We know it could be tough, but we will manage it. That’s one of reasons we took two rookie drivers, this is a transition year and we plan for better days in 2022.

“We are bracing ourselves for a tough year. You always work to get best out of it that you can, but you also need to be realistic and not dream that all of a sudden everything will be good. We struggled last year and the car is basically the same so why would it be a lot better? I don’t think the others will make big mistakes going forward as they have good packages to take forward.

“We know our performance may not be the best one but there is a lot of work going on. It’s more like being back to 2015 this year because we took such a big step backwards last year, we have to make two forwards. And that’s what we’re doing.”

 

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