China struggles show size of Haas task

© XPB 

Haas owner Gene Haas says the difficulties the team faced in the Chinese Grand Prix proves the Ferrari partnership does not make life in F1 easy.

After a challenging pre-season, Haas made a stunning debut in Australia with Romain Grosjean finishing in sixth place and then went on to beat that result with fifth in the second race in Bahrain. However, China was a different prospect with the team struggling for pace and finishing 14th with Esteban Gutierrez and 19th with Grosjean.

Asked if the race in China was a reality check for the team, Haas told F1i: “Oh yeah, I think it’s great!

"It takes all that pressure off of us for being perfect! We’re not perfect.

“I think there’s a little bit of beginner's luck [in the first two results]. Now the reality sets in. People seem to think: ‘Oh these cars are really easy to set up’, and the fact that we’re getting all this information from Ferrari makes it a breeze.

"Well it’s not a breeze, the cars are extremely technical, they require a lot of expertise and you have to develop that on your own. That’s what makes it a difficult sport in itself, so all this crap that we had some inherent advantage from Ferrari, I think this dispels that.”

And Haas was still keen to focus on the positives from the Chinese Grand Prix, saying the team gained valuable experience facing so many problems.

“Well both cars finished the race which I think is a good sign. We didn’t give up. We had some problems with the car, we had some radio problems near the end of the formation lap so they were scrambling to get that fixed. There probably wasn’t really anything wrong with it we just didn’t understand how the radios work.

“Gutierrez had an issue with his DRS, something wasn’t working on that so he couldn’t use that. These are the kind of problems that you face and it’s just the team needs to learn how these systems work. A lot of them have worked with other teams but this car is obviously quite a bit different to what they worked on in the past, so you have to learn how to work this car.”

Scene at the Chinese Grand Prix

Chinese Grand Prix - Quotes of the week

F1i's Driver rating - Shanghai

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