Claims that Haas have contravened regulations by copying Ferrari’s car have been dismissed by team principal Guenther Steiner.
Since their arrival into Formula 1 in 2016, Haas have notoriously purchased as many ready-made parts from Maranello as they are legally permitted to, and in return their car helps provide invaluable data to Ferrari on both the chassis side and in the engine department.
They are also now developing Ferrari junior driver Mick Schumacher, who entered the pinnacle of motorsport in 2021 and is now up against established racer Kevin Magnussen.
The Dane has scored points in two of the opening three rounds of the season since his return to the team, and their current form is in stark contrast to the dreadful season they endured last season as they failed to score a single point.
That was mainly because they spent the entire season preparing for the all-new technical regulations introduced this season, but the sudden upturn in form was described as “interesting” by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, whose team, conversely, have had to deal with a variety of issues, not least “porpoising,” because of the new ground effect aerodynamics.
Three teams – identities as yet unknown – are said to have asked the FIA to look into the precipitous leap to the points having languished at the back in 2021, and Alpine might well be one of them after team principal Otmar Szafnauer described it as a “surprise,” and indicated that the governing body will be keeping an eye on the relationship between Ferrari and their American customers.
“Haas is a small team that jumped from last to third place over the winter. That comes as a bit of a surprise,” said Szafnauer.
“I expected the balance of power to change with such a big rule reform changes little because it favours the teams that have more know-how and better infrastructure.
“I am convinced that the FIA will investigate the case and come to the right conclusions about how similar these two cars are.”
But Steiner has hit back at the claims that his team have broken any rules, insisting that the comments simply derive from the current set of rules not suiting certain individuals.
“There are sometimes things in the rules that if they don’t work for you, you cannot go and change it,” he said, quoted by Metro.co.uk.
“Mercedes was winning the world championship eight years in a row, they had a very strong engine, and good for them, they did a good job.
“But nobody said: ‘Oh, we now need to change the engine rule, because Mercedes is winning everything.’”
The Italian indicates that the accusers will need to come up with some corporeal evidence instead of simply crying foul to the referee.
“There is governance in place. And if certain people think they can change everything by just speaking, I don’t think that is going to happen,” he added.
Haas are seventh in the Constructors’ Championship after the opening three rounds of the 2022 season.