Steiner: incorporating Halo 'biggest design challenge for 2018'

Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team principal
© XPB 

Haas F1 boss Guenther Steiner says the introduction of the Halo cockpit protection system is likely to be the single most important new factor in terms of designing the team's 2018 chassis.

“It’s hard every year to make a better car. But this year, one of the design challenges will be the weight," said Steiner.

"Putting the Halo on adds around 10 kilos," he explained. "We are not underweight. Very few teams are underweight by 10 kilos this year. To not increase the weight of the car will be very difficult.

"Everyone is in the same boat," he acknowledged. "You just have to do the best you can, just like every year. But there is no one specific challenge [for 2018] other than the increased weight because of the Halo."

Steiner said that Haas' development focus was already on meeting that challenge - even if it means losing ground in the remaining races of 2017.

"The main focus now back in the factory is next year," he admitted. "We’re working toward next year while still focusing on this year to make as many points as possible.

"At the racetrack we’re always trying to get the best out of this year’s car and try to get points," he insisted.

"I don’t think our performance will drop off. I think the performance of some of the other teams will go up because there is no reason why we should drop off.

"If the other teams get better, we stay the same and that’s how we fall behind.

"I think the bigger teams will perform well. And while we’ll still put effort into this year, the amount of development work we’re doing for 2017 is getting smaller and smaller.

"Everybody is now trying to focus on 2018," he said. "I don’t know what other teams have in the pipeline that’s still to come for this year. But I think the focus for most everyone in the midfield is 2018."

Haas is currently in seventh place in the constructors championships with eight races remaining in the season. The team is just one point ahead of Renault. However, just 11 extra points would boost Haas into fifth place ahead of Williams and Toro Rosso.

Technical developments may be hard to come by for the rest of the season. But Steiner is looking to other areas of the team's operations to give them the boost they need to hold their own against their rivals.

“In the short term, we just try to get our processes better and introduce upgrades quicker," he explained.

"Long term, we just try to do more technical work, more simulation work and come better prepared to the racetrack.

"We’ve got more data now than we had last year, so we are able to make better predictions for the race. We’re using what we learned from last year and the first part of this year and applying it."

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