According to Haas, it should come as no surprise that the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix update is almost a copy of Ferrari after developments were revealed on Friday.
The VF-22 has been given a major makeover for the Hungarian Grand Prix after Haas has been reluctant to develop. The changes to the body, sidepods, diffuser and underbody pushed the car in the same direction as Ferrari.
And while the proximity of the concepts is likely to raise some questions, Haas team boss Günther Steiner insists there’s no reason to be ashamed of the tactic.
He even points out that since the teams share many common components, it would have been foolish for the team to do anything other than copy the path Haas partner team Ferrari took with their F1-75.
“Then why should we copy the Williams?”
When asked if he expects accusations that the Haas is a “white Ferrari,” Steiner says, “I expect that we’re fast. If someone says we’re copying, why should we copy the Williams?”
“I don’t want to be disrespectful to Williams, but it’s a completely different concept and they’re behind us. So if you’re copying, you’re copying the best you can and that’s Ferrari and Red Bull at the moment.”
“We have the same engine as Ferrari, the same gearbox, the same suspension, why should we copy anything else? And they win races? So one plus one equals two and we’re not stupid,” said the Haas team boss.
Steiner says his team made a conscious decision to evaluate what the top teams were doing earlier in the year before deciding which way to go with their own car. This could also be the reason why Haas only brought an update to the track in the 13th race.
“There are three concepts out there: the Ferrari concept, the Red Bull concept and the Mercedes concept,” says Steiner. “We are close to Ferrari, so of course we will see what Ferrari has done and copy that. But it takes time.”
Haas announces seven changes
Steiner explains that the team’s strong start to the season has also given the team some breathing space to take their time to figure out which way to go. “I think we’re in a good place where we should be,” he says. “And we didn’t expect that we would be so strong at the beginning.”
“So we said to ourselves that we should try to get as much out of this package as we can while we look at what’s out there to see where we can go.”
The full details of the Haas upgrade were revealed in the FIA Technical Update released Friday morning ahead of first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
While most teams opted for little or no new update, Haas announced a total of seven changes affecting the underbody, diffuser, sidepods, rear suspension and brakes.