Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed that cutting the number of seats on their pit wall this season will free up around $250,000 for the team in 2023, which can go directly into car development.
Haas arrived in Bahrain for testing with a new, slimmed-down pit wall that only has three seats on it, down from six last year, making for a smaller so-called ‘prat perch’ than the other teams on the grid use.
But this will bring about a significant cost-saving benefit as the season progresses, with moving more engineers inside the garage for race operations saving an average of more than $10,000 per grand prix weekend on freight costs.
With the team able to communicate freely over radio, Steiner revealed that Haas engineers themselves came up with the idea to move inside the garage for when races and practice sessions take place.
While this will involve an internal reshuffle in who will sit where inside the garage, the saving across the season in a budget cap era makes for a significant amount going back into the coffers at Haas, as Steiner explained.
“When you need money to invest in development, look at everything, because we are at the cost cap,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com.
“You have six people out there, or a quarter of a million on car updates? I know what we’re doing.
“The guys came up with that idea. They said: ‘If I need to stay inside, I have no problem doing that if I have no need to be there’.
“With three seats we can cover what we need to and we can rearrange.
“It’s mainly a saving to put that money into development because we are at the cost cap or a quarter million on transport costs.”
Jacques Villeneuve questions Alpine line-up after exit of ‘huge loss’ Fernando Alonso
Is Netflix’s Drive to Survive nearing the end of the road?
Kevin Magnussen has concerns around proposed pit lane speed limit for yellow flag areas
After moving up two places in the Constructors’ Championship last season and a new title sponsor to boot, Haas will be fighting this year with more resources, and they were able to get to work on the VF-23 earlier than they had anticipated.
With that, Steiner is looking to put every spare penny the team has into making their current car faster, now they have the firepower behind them to compete with larger teams on the grid.
“The only way to get faster is development, so we tried to free up as much as possible for development and not spend it on prat perches, for example, and having a lot of people there,” he said.
“And this year, we could plan a lot better as well because last year everything was late and we couldn’t look too much forward, we just needed to get to the first race.
“This year, by signing off everything a little bit earlier, we could start a little bit earlier with the development and have a better plan to put them on the car.”
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher