The American outfit have been a very refreshing addition to the Formula One paddock. Did their recent points finish in Austria cement a genuine place in the midfield?
Formula One fans will be aware that new arrivals in the sport haven’t integrated too well in recent years. Haas have genuinely bucked that trend, and their heavy partnership with Ferrari suggests that collaborating with an established team might be the way forward for newcomers.
Cast the mind back to 2010, an exciting year with the introduction of three new teams. Lotus, which became Caterham, Hispania Racing and Virgin Racing (Now Manor Racing) arrived on the scene. What was supposed to be the addition of six competitive cars actually did nothing for the sport. Instead, races just involved countless blue flags and Kimi Raikkonen swearing at his engineer to try and get Narain Karthikeyan out of his way.
When Haas rolled out in Australia this year, most were expecting the same. Grid-Fillers. Company for the Manor’s. Blue Flag Summoners. Instead, Romain Grosjean claimed 6th in the opener at Melbourne and defied realistic expectation.
The race in Austria saw Grosjean score well again. It’s not like the Haas team have crept into the points as a result of the misfortune of others either. They’ve produced excellent results on merit. Grosjean’s 7th in Austria see’s the Frenchman climb to 10th in the overall driver’s standings. He’s ahead of both Toro Rosso’s and McLaren’s as it stands.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) July 3, 2016
If Esteban Gutierrez could be as effective as Grosjean, Haas would be ahead of McLaren and fighting Toro Rosso in the constructors. Going forward, Haas need to bring in a driver of Grosjean’s abilities, because Gutierrez has been literally pointless…
In Austria, the pace of the Haas was highlighted in the fastest laps table. Gutierrez posted the 6th fastest lap of the race whilst Grosjean managed the 8th fastest. If the newcomers can find a set-up that is easier on the tyres for Silverstone, there’s no reason why they can’t secure another points finish at the British Grand Prix.