Haas ‘transparent’, designed own brake ducts

Michelle Foster
Romain Grosjean Haas

Romain Grosjean Haas

As Racing Point awaits a ruling on its brake ducts, Guenther Steiner insists he wasn’t even open to toeing the line with Haas designing its own ducts.

Racing Point appeared before the F1 stewards on Wednesday with the team accused by Renault of running Mercedes’ brake ducts.

As of this season all the teams have to design and build their own ducts with Renault alleging that the brake ducts on the RP20 belong to Mercedes.

Renault protested the RP20 at the Styrian, Hungarian and British races.

A ruling on the matter is expected some time on Friday.

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Steiner says Haas avoided the controversy by bringing in new people to design its ducts rather than risk copying Ferrari’s 2019 ducts and reworking them as their own.

“I think we were always transparent, what we are doing, and you can see it on the car,” Steiner told Autosport, “because otherwise the car will be as fast as a Ferrari, and it isn’t, if we would just copy it. So I think we obeyed the rules.

“Actually we spent a lot of time finding out what the rules are, and we took the initiative to find out, so I think on that side we are very safe, what we did.

“Our brake ducts, we didn’t take them from last year, copy them and make them for this year.

“No, we designed our own brake ducts, we employed special people for it, because we were in conversation with the FIA.

“It was, how do we do this legally? What do we need to do so we are not illegal? So that is what we did.

“We employed people, and it cost us a lot more money to do this. Because before we bought the brake ducts, and now, we had to get additional designers from Dallara, and it’s all traceable.

“I feel good about what we did. I don’t see an issue with it. And I think a lot of people do know what we did, and what we didn’t do. We did it to the rule book. So I’m very relaxed, and what is happening on the case hopefully we find out soon, because we are interested as you are.”


The team boss added that while Haas does buy parts from Ferrari, such as the suspension which can give it a similar look to the Ferrari, his team won’t be taking pictures of the Ferrari and trying to replicate it.

He said: “When you have the suspension, the same gearbox, the same attachment points to the chassis, why would the wheelbase be different? Tell me that? That’s within the rules.

“But all the rest, for example we had a completely different concept on the radiators in 2018 than Ferrari. We had completely different things, because we were not aware of what they were doing in there.

“And we didn’t go and take pictures of the stuff.”

Steiner, like the rest of the paddock, is eagerly awaiting Friday’s ruling.

“What the sentence would be about these brake ducts, I don’t know, and I still don’t know what they actually did,” he added.

“There are a lot of rumours around which everybody hears, but I don’t want to go into rumours, because they don’t mean anything to me if I’ve no facts, there’s no point to tell them.

“If it is like it is said, that they copied them or they bought them, that in our opinion is not correct. But first I want to see.

“There’s no hurry for this. There is no stress on our side.

“We just wait to see what they decide this week, and then we take some thinking time, and then we decide what to do next.”

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