TJ13 has suggested on more than one occasion that Haas F1 should get its PR/Media briefing in order. Mixed messages have consistently emanated from the new F1 team and this kind of confusion is likely to cause American Gene Haas some difficulty once the heat of battle is enjoined.
Initially, Gene claimed his new team would be a baby Ferrari team: “We’d be very proud to be a Ferrari B team because that would certainly teach us how to run in Formula One and quite frankly we will take all the help they can give us. You can’t get any better than Ferrari,” Haas told CNN. Gene later withdrew from this position following a ‘talking to’ in Maranello and concerns raised by the likes of Monisha Kaltenborn who observed, “I don’t think that is a good move for Formula One because it is going down the road of customer cars.”
Amusingly Haas told Sky last November, “We think our chassis in some ways will be better than a Ferrari chassis because we’re using some more… I won’t say state of the art, but we’re taking a different approach than Ferrari is and we think it’s probably a better design. The Ferrari is more conventional, they’re going to stay with what they’ve been doing for a number of years.” Expressing this kind of notion may suggest to those who understand a modicum about F1 that Gene doesn’t really get what it’s all about just yet.
Gene’s last foray into media-land saw him claim his team was way ahead of schedule with their F1 entry preparations. “We had too much time, actually. We probably had maybe three months more than what we really needed,” and the team were indeed the first to pass the FIA chassis crash test for their 2016 car.
Yet Autosport is now reporting the Haas team has pulled back from a ‘bespoke launch’ and will now just do a garage roll out on the first day of testing in Barcelona next month. The team “shelved the idea when the season opener was brought forward two weeks”.
Really? What happened to the three months buffer?
Of course what Haas F1 do over their car launch is Gene Haas’ decision, though given his team is the first new outfit to enter F1 since 2010 – a dedicated launch would surely have been a significant publicity event for Haas and their sponsors.
Maybe the Haas F1 car really does have some revolutionary concepts incorporated into their Dallara-designed chassis, and revealing these to the world would give valuable additional time for the rest to copy them.
For those of you who missed it, here is the rendered corporate image Haas F1 released last week to market its upcoming F1 activities, featuring a silver-and-black livery.
So far just Ferrari and McLaren have declared they will do a dedicated car launch ahead of the Barcelona test which begins February 22nd, and Red Bull are set for a ‘livery’ launch on February 17th.