The Haas F1 Team is already prioritising its research and development efforts on its 2022 car, team principal Guenther Steiner has said.
The American racing outfit had a woeful 2020 season, with the combination of their uncompetitive chassis and weakened Ferrari power unit leaving them outside the points in most grand prix.
Speaking to Formula1.com this week, Steiner said that Haas’ new technical director Simone Resta, who recently joined the American racing outfit from Ferrari, will soon be “99 percent” focused on designing their 2022 challenger.
“He’s spent the first few weeks getting himself accustomed with what we are doing,” the Haas team principal said.
“He has got involved in this year’s car. There were some design changes because of the regulation changes now.
“80 percent of his time is focused on 2022 and by the end of February it will be 99 percent focused on 2022,” he added.
Continuing, Steiner said they are “bracing” themselves for a difficult season and emphasised that 2021 will be a year of transition for them.
“We are preparing to be better but I don’t know what the reality will be. We know it could be tough but we will manage it.
“That’s one of the reasons we took two rookie drivers – this is a transition year and we plan for better days in 2022.
“We are bracing ourselves for a tough year. You always work to get the best out of it that you can, but you also need to be realistic and not dream that all of a sudden everything will be good.
“We struggled last year and the car is basically the same, so why would it be a lot better? I don’t think the others will make big mistakes going forward as they have good packages to take forward.
“We know our performance may not be the best one but there is a lot of work going on. It’s more like being back to 2015 [when Haas were preparing to enter Formula One] this year because we took such a big step backwards last year that we have to make two forwards. And that’s what we are doing,” he added.
Haas finished ninth in the 2020 F1 Constructors’ Championship after scoring three points from the 17 grand prix contested last year.
In 2021, they will field an all-new rookie driver line-up consisting of last year’s Formula Two Champion Mick Schumacher and controversial Russian racing driver Nikita Mazepin.