British journalist gives verdict on Ferrari ‘threatening’ Haas, turning down their engine

For the first time in 2022, Haas failed to score points at last weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz has dismissed any conspiracy theories suggesting that Ferrari attempted to put a halt to Haas’ momentum at the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.

Having spent the entirety of 2021 developing for the all-new technical regulations this season, Haas have cemented themselves in the early going in 2022 as contenders for the top four in the Constructors’ Championship.

Kevin Magnussen returned to the team to replace the sacked Nikita Mazepin, and he managed points finishes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to declare that he has not lost any pace in his year away from the pinnacle of motorsport, and that the American outfit are ready to consistently compete for points again.

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At the Australian Grand Prix though, neither car managed to make Q3 for the first time this season, and Mick Schumacher out-qualified the Dane for the first time as they lined up 15th and 16th for the race.

After being on the fringes of the points, Schumacher was ultimately crowded out in a pulsating midfield scrap, while Magnussen was put out of position by the Safety Car.

Even after the 29-year-old had pitted onto fresh tyres, he was unable to make significant progress towards the top 10, and was eventually passed by the 23-year-old as they finished 13th and 14th.

Last year, such a result would have been a welcome one for Haas, but such has been their steep upwards trajectory this season that it came as an unpleasant surprise, and Kravitz is at a loss to explain the dip in form.

“Where has Haas’ pace gone? That’s an open question being asked by a lot of people in the paddock,” he said on Ted’s notebook after the race.

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“From scoring points in the first couple of races with Kevin Magnussen to finishing P13 and P14 in Australia is very, very odd.”

He then addressed hypothesis that Ferrari felt threatened by the pace of their customer team, but manufacturers gain vital data by cross referencing performance between the teams that they supply, so those suggestions hold no water according to the Briton.

“There have been some suggestions among the rumour-mongers that maybe Ferrari are thinking Haas are doing a little bit too well and threatening them,” he explained.

“Of course, that’s rubbish. Ferrari are never going to threaten Haas to turn down their own engine.

“But that’s the rumour out there and you know I like to keep you across all these rumours in F1.

“I think the truth is, really, that they arrived here with the wrong set-up and never got it back. When you essentially write off Friday because you don’t have the right set-up, it’s very difficult to get it back.”

Team principal Guenther Steiner laments the misfortune that his team suffered as a result of the Safety Car, and maintains that the failure to score points was an isolated instance of a tough weekend.

“It didn’t work out as we planned. We always [seem to] make sure the Safety Car is out at the wrong time. Seriously though, sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you get unlucky,” he said after the race.

“The car was strong and the drivers did a good job so we know if we qualify better we can score points, and that’s what we keep trying to do. As I always say, this year we’ve got a car that can score points, we’ve just had a difficult weekend.

“It’s one of three which was difficult – we go again at Imola.”

Haas now sit seventh in the Constructors’ Championship after being surpassed by McLaren and Alfa Romeo in Melbourne.