Haas F1 was conceived during dark times for Formula One when the grid had shrunk from 26 starters to potentially just 18. They were the first American team to submit an application to F1 since the failed US F1 project of 2010.
Further, Haas were the first American team to compete in F1 since the unrelated Haas Lola entry in 1985-6. The original target for the team was to make the season opener in 2015 but time got the better of the preparations and it was delayed a year.
Haas 150th GP
In Monaco this weekend the team will celebrate it’s 150th Grand Prix though it is the only outfit on the grid not to win a race during it’s Formula One history.
Gunther Steiner the team boss recalls the humble beginnings of the Haas F1 team.
“What stood out for me is when we got to the race track in Melbourne in 2016 because we had so many people saying we wouldn’t make it. We made it, we’re still here and that makes me proud for the whole team,” he said.
“We scored points in our first race which hasn’t happened many times before in Formula 1 history as well.
“For me, it means a lot starting a team, it’s a dream for many to start a team and I could do it thanks to Gene Haas who allowed us to do this. We’re in a good position now and we just try to get stronger and stronger, and we will.”
Schumacher predicts catastrophe
Haas experiment with rookies
After experimenting with rookie drivers Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher the team has returned to Steiner’s preference of an experienced driver line up with Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkneberg.
Magnussen is one of the team’s longest serving employees having driven for Haas in 6 of their 8 seasons competing in Formula One. The Danish driver took an enforced break when he was replaced by Mazepin, though due to the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine he received a surprise call from Steiner inviting him back to replace the ousted Russian driver.
Magnussen muses on the team’s upcoming milestone of 150 races stating, “That’s a big number!”
Magnussen scores highlight result
Kevin experienced one of the Haas highlights in F1 last season when he claimed pole position for the Brazilian race in Sau Paulo.
“It doesn’t feel like that much as it’s all gone by very quickly. It’s been a fantastic ride so far and we’ve had some super special moments, of course topped by the pole position last year in Brazil, but there’s been many more exciting moments.
“It’s always been an extra successful feeling scoring big points with this team because it’s such a small team in a very big sport, competing against some giant organisations. We’ve truly come from being real underdogs to being an established Formula 1 team.
“We’re still one of the smaller ones but the growth and the journey overall has been phenomenal, and I’m very happy to have been a part of it so far and hoping to have many more years.”
Goal to catch Alpine
Haas managed the big regulation changes of 2022 relatively well and following their zero points 2021 recovered to finish eight in the constructors race. Haas are currently in P7 ahead of keen rivals Alfa Romeo after the first five races of this year.
“The present objective this year is to move up in the Constructors’ Championship from last year, getting better every year – it’s as simple as this – and at some stage, we want to be winning races,” says Steiner.
“I don’t know how far away it is and I’m not going to say it’s this season or next season, but at some stage, it will happen with Haas.”
To date Haas best result was at the 2018 Australian GP when Romain Grosjean just missed out on a podium claiming fourth place.
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Miami unseen 🌴🎬
Sharing some behind the scenes footage from our first home race of the year! #HaasF1 pic.twitter.com/5mqDp8ai4U
— MoneyGram Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) May 21, 2023