Force India, McLaren want Haas ‘magic’ investigated

Date published: March 28 2018

Force India and McLaren have called on FIA to “closely” look at Haas’ relationship with Ferrari after the American team’s fast start to this season.

Despite only being in their third season in Formula 1, Haas showed incredible pace in Melbourne last weekend.

Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean locked out the third row of the grid and were running fourth and fifth before pit stop issues resulted in a double DNF.

“I don’t know how they do it, it’s magic,” Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer told Autosport. “It’s never been done before in Formula 1.

“I just don’t know how it can be right that someone who’s been in the sport for a couple of years with no resource could produce a car… does it happen by magic?

“If it does, I want the wand.”

Force India and McLaren have both questioned Haas’ relationship with Ferrari.

The Scuderia not only supply Haas with engines, suspension and other listed parts but also allow Haas’ chassis partner, Dallara, to use their windtunnel.

The two F1 teams, though, are not allowed to share information on parts that they are expected to build themselves.

McLaren’s Zak Brown wonders if they are keeping to the rules.

“We all know they have a very close alliance with Ferrari and I think we just need to make sure it’s not too close.

“There could be some influence, there’s certainly some parts of the car that look very similar to last year’s car.

“But that’s for the engineers and the FIA to look at more closely.”

Szafnauer added: “All the aerodynamic surfaces have to be your own. If they’re not, I don’t know how you can tell unless you start investigating.

“Scrutineering only tells you that it fits within the boxes of the regulations.

“Is it yours or somebody else’s [idea]? That’s the real question. And I don’t know the answer to that.

“Maybe it is their own, it’s just suspect – how can you gain that knowledge without history and the right tools and people?”