Haas happy with 2022 project after Maranello visit

Jamie Woodhouse
Gene Haas arrives for the Dutch Grand Prix. September 2021.

Haas team owner Gene Haas arrives at Circuit Zandvoort. Netherlands, September 2021.

Haas principal Guenther Steiner believes owner Gene Haas was pleased by the progress for 2022 in a recent visit to their design facility.

The American outfit made a controversial call to bypass any development of their 2021 challenger, while also hiring an all-rookie line-up of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, with the aim of focusing on a return to form under the new 2022 regulations.

It was a risky move to make, especially considering Haas’ slide down the pecking order in recent years, but Steiner is confident that their owner was pleased with what he saw, after the pair made a recent visit to the Maranello design hub to see how the VF-22 was taking shape.

Haas split their operations over three sites, with a base at Banbury, another in Varano which houses chassis partner Dallara, and then a design facility at Ferrari’s Maranello factory.

“These are the things that keep me and the whole team going – the future,” said Steiner, as quoted by Motorsportweek.com.

“Going there with Gene, he hasn’t been in Italy for three years, due to COVID-19 he couldn’t come for the last few years.

“I showed him around and how we’ve changed over, how we’ve organised ourselves and how Simone [Resta, technical director] is leading the group.

“I think he was happy with what he saw, and again he looks forward to 2022 like all of us.

“I think we will be ready. Where we end up, I don’t know yet but for sure we will make steps forward.”

Nikita Mazepin leads Mick Schumacher. Netherlands September 2021.

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Resta said that the “fire and ambition” is clear in the eyes of the engineers, inspired by a completely new set of regulations to work with for 2022.

“I believe that the introduction of a new set of regulations represents a unique chance for the team to develop ideas from scratch, as there are no references with existing cars,” the ex-Ferrari design chief explained.

“You can see in each engineer’s eyes the fire and ambition to prove they can come up with the best design or concept.

“With a new set of regulations you are trying to develop something that does not exist yet – this is very exciting – and having learned from previous experiences is a key element when affording new challenges aiming to maximise the team result.”