Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has suggested that it was more prudent to take the time to figure out which upgrades would work, and which would not.
Haas brought their first meaningful upgrade of the season to the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend, but they could only install them onto Kevin Magnussen’s car.
Two heavy crashes for Mick Schumacher had taken a fair amount out of their budget, so they did not have the resources or the money to put changes onto both cars.
Magnussen’s car looked very different to his team-mate’s as a result of the new sidepods that bore lots of resemblance to those of Ferrari’s F1-75, so the car was labelled the “white Ferrari.”
The American team have a very close relationship with the Scuderia, who supply them with engines and have even given them some free office space at Maranello.
Steiner’s response to ‘copying’ claims was that, if he sees a concept which is winning races, like Ferrari’s, then that it the one he will take inspiration from, not a team at the back of the grid like Williams.
“I expect to be fast,” he told RacingNews365.com.
“If somebody says we copy, I’ve been giving the same answer: So what should we have copied, the Williams?
“No disrespect to Williams, but it’s a completely different concept, and they are behind us, so if you copy something, you copy the best you can, and at the moment it’s Ferrari and Red Bull.
“Our car has got the same engine as Ferrari, with the same gearbox. They’ve got the same suspension. Why would we be copying anything else?
“And they’re winning races, so it’s one and one is still two.”
As for the length of time it took to being changes to the car, the Italian did not want to spend time and money on something that did not fit with the setup of the car, so the team had to be cautious with what they threw at the car.
“We took a little bit longer,” stated Steiner.
“We wanted to make sure everything we put on the car is also working with the set-up of the car, we are not bringing something which we cannot use, because we cannot change the set-up to where that stuff works.
“It is part of that that we took a little bit longer, we were a little bit more careful.”
Steiner compared this season to 2018 and 2019, during the latter of which the pace of the car crumbled away after they brought upgrades in.
This might well have been a legacy of making changes too early without truly understanding the car, so Haas have learned from that.
“In ’18, we had a good year, we brought developments, they worked, and you move on,” explained the 57-year-old.
“Obviously, we got a little bit scared in ’19. Then in ’20, we didn’t do any upgrades, and [again] in ’21.
“So now we [decided to] just take it slow and do it as best as [we] can do, to make sure that we are not back to ’19, that we are ending up in Abu Dhabi with the same car we had in Bahrain this year.”
Haas are seventh in the Constructors’ Standings after collecting 34 points from the opening 13 rounds of the season.