Haas puts updates on hold

19/06/2020
NEWS STORY

With the 2020 cars set to be used again in 2021, one would think that teams will be keen to start updating them once the season gets underway next month, especially as there is a freeze on working on the much-anticipated cars, set to be introduced in 2022, until next January.

However, amidst the ongoing uncertainty with the pandemic, and the resultant impact on its finances, Haas isn't planning updating its current car anytime soon.

"At the moment we are not planning any upgrades until we know exactly what we are doing this year budget-wise and what we are doing race-wise," said team boss, Guenther Steiner.

"I cannot spend money which I don't know if I've got," the Italian continued. "At the moment we have to be very cautious with what we are doing, because obviously as you all know the income is going down with having less races and races without spectators. Until it's very clear, I'm very cautious and just make sure we participate, that we do our job as best we can, that we are making no mistakes in the races and in the sessions and just focus on that."

For some time there has been speculation over the future of the American outfit, the stark reality of the financial difficulty the sport faces made clear by the news that two of the sport's most historical teams, Williams and McLaren, are both seeking to sell significant stakes in a bid to raise funding and thereby continue.

"The worst thing would be to spend the money now and then not have the money to do the upgrades," said Steiner. "That is no help.

"Like any other company you need to manage this, it is part of the risk we have got. It's fine, we need to live with that. This is an exceptional year, hopefully, for all of us so we live with it.

"We've learned quite a lot about upgrades," he added, "they are never as big as you hope they are as these days you can do quite a lot on the first car. In our opinion its not a necessity to have them. What is really needed for us is not to make mistakes, that's what we've decided and we've gone down that road and not risk planning for something we cannot afford. That would be worse because then we wouldn't be able to go to the last grands prix and then for sure that wouldn't give us any points.

"It's just how we manage a company and we are happy to do it like this. We know what we are doing and we are happy with the decision."

Asked if the schedule of 8 races in 10 weeks might leave his team struggling for spares - remember, this is Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen we're talking about - Steiner said: "Actually the spares situation is made easier because we are not planning any upgrades at the moment. So you know the races, you know how many parts you have to have.

Sure you don't plan on having a lot of crashes or anything, but at the moment we take an average year to base our quantity of spare parts so we shouldn't have a problem.

"If we have a problem we will sort it, but there's not a financial problem to have spare parts."

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Published: 19/06/2020
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