After an incredible start to their season, Haas’ have failed to keep pace with their rivals leaving Gene Haas to urge Ferrari to be open to more collaboration.
Haas went into this season, the American team’s first in Formula 1, powered by Ferrari while also using the Italian outfit’s suspension, transmission system and other parts.
This helped the team get off to an incredible start, scoring 22 points in the first four grands prix. Haas, though, added just six in the following eight races.
The team’s failure to keep up with their rivals has led team owner Haas to call for more collaboration with Ferrari.
“The model does work really well with Ferrari, and if anything I hope we can get more out of it too,” he told Autosport.
“There’s always been some hesitation on Ferrari’s part, as far as working with us, because of the FIA regulations.
“So they’ve been very, very careful to be sure they follow everything by the rules, and we’ve been very upfront with the FIA about exactly what they’re doing.
“In retrospect, I think we could’ve done more.”
Asked what more could be achieved, Haas singled out the development of his team’s VF16, saying it would be beneficial to get more information about the parts they receive from Ferrari.
He said: “Developing the car.
“Our car is quite a bit different from the Ferrari, as much as people think they’re all the same, but we struggle a little bit with our chassis, trying to understand it.
“With Ferrari, they supply us with a lot of parts, but they don’t necessarily provide us with information about how it all works.
“That comes down to personnel. We started almost from ground zero and there’s so much we have had to learn ourselves, so as time goes forward we need to get personnel to really understand how the cars work.
“We can’t just go to Ferrari and ask ‘How does this work?’ We need to figure that out on our own.
“That’s probably been the biggest shortcoming: just trying to understand how the Ferrari – and some of the components they give us, the shocks and suspension, ERS – how all these things work.
“It’s not been easy to figure all that out.”
And while the American understands Ferrari want to stay well within the FIA regulations, he feels they are perhaps too cautious.
“Ultimately Ferrari has a goal, and that is to beat Mercedes, just as we have a goal to beat some of our competitors at the back, so it’s kind of the same goal.
“Whatever we can do to make that happen is good for both of us, so I would think more co-operation would be helpful.
“If anything Ferrari is very cautious. They want to make sure they follow all these FIA directives and they do that very, very religiously, almost to the point where it does seem kind of frustrating.”