‘Should we copy Williams?’ Guenther Steiner dismisses cheating allegations

Haas arrived at the Hungarian Grand Prix with a striking new design.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has little time for suggestions that his team have cheated by introducing a design extremely similar to Ferrari’s.

It was anticipated ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend that the American side would come to the race with a new chassis design which, particularly when looking at the sidepods, resembles the Maranello-built F1-75.

Haas themselves have an office in Italy where they design parts for their car, and they were given this free space due to the close relationship they have had with Ferrari since they entered Formula 1 in 2016.

Their engines are provided to them by the Scuderia, and many of their parts are designed and made in Italy which they then buy off the shelf.

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In return, they give Ferrari academy drivers run time in their cars, which is what they have been doing with Mick Schumacher after Charles Leclerc also came through their system in 2016.

The close relationship between the teams appears to have translated to the car this weekend, so the Haas has been labelled a “white Ferrari.”

Steiner candidly affirmed that, if his team are going to copy anyone’s deign, they are hardly going to go for one of the slower cars on the grid.

“I expect to be fast, if somebody says we copy, then why should we copy the Williams?” he said.

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“I mean, 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.

“We have the same engine as Ferrari, same gearbox, the same suspension, why would we copy anything else? And they’re winning races, so one and one is two, and we are not stupid.

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“There are three concepts out there: the Ferrari concept, the Red Bull concept, and the Mercedes concept.

“We are close to Ferrari, so obviously we’re going to see what Ferrari has done and copy that one, but it takes time because we had to launch the car and race, and then we had to go into the wind tunnel to do testing, looking at that car.

“I think we are in a good place for where we are supposed to be, we didn’t expect to come out this strong in the beginning.

“So, we said let’s try to gain as much as possible and let’s look at what is out there and try to see which direction we can go; looking at them.”

Kevin Magnussen was the only driver to be given the updated version of the VF-22 chassis, as he went 17th and 16thfastest respectively in the two practice sessions on Friday.

Schumacher was one position adrift in both, and an average of just over a tenth of a second behind so, on first viewing, the new car has not made a massive difference, but it is possible that Magnussen was taking it easy given the lack of spare parts on the new design that Haas have.