Haas now ‘out of the box’ with the VF-22

Jamie Woodhouse
Haas 2022 livery on Mick Schumacher's car. February 2022.

A look at the back of the Haas VF-22 livery on the car of Mick Schumacher. February 2022.

Haas chief Guenther Steiner says the team are no longer “in a box” as they have the capacity to develop the VF-22.

The American outfit propped up the Constructors’ standings in 2021, failing to score a point. They had also taken the gamble of fielding an all-rookie line-up, consisting of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

Haas were already prepared to struggle though, having taken the decision not to develop their 2021 challenger, instead putting full focus into the new regulations for 2022, revealing the livery for their VF-22 on February 4.

The livery was shown on a render of the 2022 car, with the actual VF-22 likely to feature some developments by the time it appears.

But crucially, Haas have reason to be excited because they are no longer trapped in a box which cannot be escaped – now they are open for business when it comes to developing the VF-22.

“This year, with having a new car, there are more problems but it’s good to have these problems,” Steiner told The Race.

“Because you can move forward again. Whatever you do will be positive for the whole year.

“You are not locked in like you were last year. We always tried to get the best but you’re in a box. You cannot get out.

“This year, whatever happens, we need to be good – if we get boxed in – to get out of it because we have the opportunity. So it’s a lot more exciting.

“There’s a lot more looking forward to it. There’s still a lot of work going on to make it happen, but in the end you know you’re going into something which will give you some satisfaction.”

Haas were one of the teams most vulnerable to dropping out of Formula 1 when the pandemic hit in 2020, but team owner Gene Haas accepted the vision to withstand the 2021 campaign in order to stage a fightback in 2022.

Of course, Haas have not always been a Formula 1 backmarker, having achieved a best result of P5 in the Constructors’ Championship in 2018.

So, as Steiner explains, Haas do not need to “prove you can do it”, instead “we have to show we can come back”.


On the subject of satisfying the team owner with an improvement, Steiner added: “It’s important to him like it is to everyone else. Success is always the biggest motivator to anything.

“If we can come back to have some kind of success that for sure makes him happier than he is now, because nobody is happy with the result we had last year.

“But we had to bite the bullet to make sure we stay here. And now we have to come up again.

“For sure it’s important this year that we show progress. We need to show progress.”


Haas kick-off F1 2022 launch season

Car launch season indicates the start of F1's return, and Haas have got us underway.