Haas admits that criticism from rivals 'hurts'

Gene Haas (USA) Haas Automotion President
© XPB 

The Haas F1 Team has already raised a few eyebrows in 2018, after hitting the ground running with a much more competitive car than its rivals were expecting.

It's given rise to complaints from other teams in the paddock that the VF-18 is just a Ferrari 'clone', rather than the team's own handiwork.

That's not gone down well with the team's eponymous owner, Gene Haas, who admitted that "it hurts" to hear such comments from their peers.

"When we’re doing badly, people will say that we’re just another stupid American team," he told the Formula 1 website. "And when we’re doing well, it’s the Ferrari team.

“That’s not giving credit to the guys who work here.

"If you look at our car or anybody else’s car, our car is significantly different," he argued. "Our radiator layout is different. The way our bargeboards work is completely different.

"Those things are definitely not copied from anybody. They are all designed in-house."

Haas has an extensive technical partnership with Ferrari in order to make the team competitive and financially viable. The engine, transmission, suspension, hydraulics and electronics all come from Maranello, while the chassis is built by Dallara.

Under the rules, the rest - including aerodynamic features - must be done in-house by the team itself.

“If you look at other teams – Force India, Williams, Toro Rosso – they all have relationships with different engine manufacturers, transmission suppliers and component suppliers,” Haas explained.

"We just happen to have a relationship which is more with a single supplier.

“It works, but I don’t think there’s any other way for a team to start up," Haas insisted. "To sit there and say I’m going to build one in the back of my workshop and go race with those guys, that’s just silly.

“Those days are long gone. You can’t do that anymore," he added. "These cars are unbelievably complex.

"In years gone by, you’d buy a chassis, you’d get yourself an engine and you’d basically buy the bits and pieces and go racing. We’re probably doing something akin to the original Formula 1."

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