Seidl criticises Haas-Ferrari relationship amid ‘white Ferrari’ claims

Haas' 2022 car has been labelled the "white Ferrari" having taken a large number of parts from the Scuderia.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has expressed concerns over the relationship Haas have with Ferrari, claiming that it is “not what F1 should be.”

When Haas entered Formula 1 in 2016, they bought as many parts as they were allowed to under the regulations from Ferrari, which included aerodynamic parts as well as their engine and gearbox.

It helped Romain Grosjean to three points finishes in the first four races of the year, before the team were eventually out-developed by those around them and they managed only two more in the rest of the season.

It facilitates an environment in which Ferrari can use a lesser team to collect potentially crucial data and use them as a feeder team to nurture the next generation of talent.

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It also helps a team like Haas climb up the midfield order, and Kevin Magnussen’s fifth-placed finish in Bahrain exemplified the progress the Banbury outfit have made since the beginning of 2021 when they decided to dedicate the majority of their time to this year’s car under the new technical regulations.

Seidl stated that he did not want to go into the particulars of the partnership Ferrari hold with Haas, but insisted that he disagrees with a team’s ability to simply buy effective parts from another constructor instead of designing and making them themselves.

“First of all, everyone in the team is very busy with our own car this week, so I can’t talk specifically about Haas and Ferrari,” Seidl said.

“But it’s no secret that, in general, these relationships that exist within the regulations, as they are established, concern us.

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“Our point of view is that in the future we have to make sure that Formula 1 is a championship between 10, 11 or 12 real manufacturers.”

The German takes issue with the fact that one team on the grid can have a tangible influence on a rival team, suggesting that it goes against the spirit of the sport.

“From our point of view, F1 should be a championship with so many teams in which the only thing that is allowed to share is the power unit and the gearbox. The rest you have to do,” he explained.

“We know that the moment you go further, there is clearly a change or a transfer of intellectual property, which directly modifies the performance of the car. And that’s not what F1 should be.

“That is why we continually raise this issue with other teams that have the same fears.

“That is why we are in dialogue with the FIA ​​and I hope that at some point we will take a step forward. Because understanding that monitoring, or rather setting a limit, is also a task.

“That’s why the easiest and most effective way to move forward is to have a clear limit on what can be shared.”

Racing Point, now known as Aston Martin, were involved in a colossal dispute with several other teams on the grid in 2020 when they appeared to copy Mercedes’ design from the previous season.

Lawrence Stroll’s team were fined 400,000 euros when they were found to have transgressed the regulations by copying the intricate parts of another team’s car.

Otmar Szaufnauer is now team principal at Alpine having worked for the Aston Martin team for 12 years under various different guises, from Force India, to Racing Point Force India, Racing Point and then the iconic Aston Martin brand.

He highlighted the jeopardies behind mechanics and engineers working out of the same wind tunnel as Aston Martin and Mercedes do.

“The concern is that those who share wind tunnels can have a coffee together,” he said in an interview on F1 TV.

“And especially if they are colleagues and say over coffee: ‘How did you do with the last floor you tried?’ ‘Don’t go in that direction, it’s not very good.’”

The Romanian American emphasises that these backroom dealings never took place during his time at the Silverstone team, but maintains that this eventuality is very possible between two teams that share the same space.

“Of course it didn’t happen at Aston/Mercedes because we had robust processes and there was no coffee between our respective aerodynamicists,” he added.

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“But that could happen if the aerodynamicists live in the same place, use the same tunnel, use the same canteen. miles down the road, it didn’t happen.

“We were lucky enough to use a wind tunnel on the weekends, and Mercedes did it during the week. The aerodynamicists couldn’t even see each other.”

Just as Racing Point’s car was labelled the “pink Mercedes” in 2020, Haas have earned the nickname “white Ferrari” due to their car’s resemblance to the Ferrari, something that team principal Guenther Steiner has called “ridiculous.”