Ahead of the first race of the 2022 F1 season, which is scheduled for this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Haas team boss is concerned about reliability problems with the VF-22 and revealed to the German press that they tried, and failed, to make Mercedes style ‘Zero-pods’ work.
During the six days of winter testing, the Haas team has been hit by a number of reliability problems, both in Barcelona during the first part of the test and in Bahrain last week. It is with great concern about reliability that the American team is about to enter the first Grand Prix of the year:
“What we have to start working on is reliability. We haven’t done it the way we wanted to and we still have a mountain to climb,” says Haas team principal Guenther Steiner to therace.com
“In terms of performance, it’s quite difficult to say because we haven’t run enough, but I would say it doesn’t look bad.
“First of all, we have to finish the race. We had a lot of reliability problems [in winter testing], so I’m a bit scared. I think if we can finish the race we will be lucky. I’m still optimistic, cautiously optimistic, about getting into the points and then it would be a success.”
With just 413 laps completed during the six days of winter testing, the Haas team is bottom of a table dominated by Ferrari with 788 laps.
This news may come as a bit of a shock to some fans. Haas had been very open about not putting any resources into their 2021 car development, wanting instead to concentrate on 2022. During this phase, Haas admitted that they tried out the Mercedes ‘zero-pod’ concept already.
Haas tried and failed to make Mercedes ‘Zero-pod’ idea to work last summer
“This exact concept was our first design. We had it in the wind tunnel last July, and we already noticed there that it gives advantages in slow corners,” Steiner said, quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
But much like Ferrari’s F1-75, Haas went the opposite way, confirmed by saying: “But as an overall package, we saw greater potential in wide sidepods.”