Haas boss Guenther Steiner has dropped a hint that he hopes Ferrari’s new engine will help his team become significantly more competitive in 2021.
The American-owned outfit collected only three World Championship points in the season just ended, putting them ninth of 10 in the constructors’ standings having raced at the back of the pack throughout the campaign.
With the F1 regulations static in 2021 before the sweeping changes being brought in for 2022, team principal Steiner is not expecting a huge leap forward even though, unlike this year when they did not upgrade the car, some developments will be introduced.
But without actually specifying what he meant, it is clear the 55-year-old Italian is keen for Ferrari to raise their game by providing Haas with a better customer engine after all three teams with that make of power unit, Alfa Romeo being the other, struggled in 2020.
“I know it will be another difficult one,” said Steiner, quoted by Motorsport.com, about the 2021 season. “It’s just how difficult it is, and that I don’t know yet.
“But there are a lot of factors which I have no influence on and are outside of my control, and I hope those factors – I know what we speak about here – I hope they get better, you know?
“Obviously we need to do also work on our side, a lot of work. We will be pushing to do the best in the short time we have got. That’s the only thing I can do at the moment, and hopefully somebody else adds something to the party as well.”
Ferrari have already declared they are happy with how their new engine is coming along, with their team principal Mattia Binotto saying: “Luckily we can have a completely new power unit, otherwise we would be at a disadvantage.
“The engine is running well on the dyno [test bed]. In terms of performance, it has progressed well – significantly, I think, compared to 2020. I think we will be back to being competitive as a power unit.”
A stronger engine in the Haas, and the car being faster all-round, would benefit Ferrari in providing a springboard for the F1 career of Mick Schumacher.
The son of Michael Schumacher, the seven-time former World Champion, is a Ferrari Academy driver who will make his Formula 1 debut for Haas in 2021 after winning the F2 title, joining Nikita Mazepin in making the step up.