Haas Team Podcast, Episode 001 - Who is Haas F1, and What Can We Expect in 2019?
<History of Haas F1
Haas F1 Team debuted in the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2016, becoming the first American-led Formula One team since 1986. Founded by industrialist Gene Haas, Haas F1 Team is based in the United States on the same Kannapolis, North Carolina, campus as his championship-winning NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing. Haas currently employees 250 team members across two continents.
Key Players at Haas
- Gene Haas is an American racing icon and the founder and chairman of the Haas F1 team. In 1983, Gene founded Haas Automation, Inc. - which is now a world leader in machining tools and automation products. Through the years, the success of his company allowed him to fund many of his racing dreams, including being a competitive racer himself. In 2002 he founded Haas CNC Racing, which eventually became the multi-champion winning Stewart-Haas Racing team.
- Guenther Steiner is team principal of Haas F1 Team, and has over 30 years of motorsports experience. He first joined F1 in 2002 as the managing director of Jaguar Racing. Then in 2005 he was tapped to be the technical operations director of Red Bull Racing, where he managed a team of more than 350 people with a budget of more than $200 million annually. He then went on to form a composites manufacturing and racing development company, before being tasked by Gene Haas to kickstart the Haas's F1 efforts.
- Romain Grosjean is the 32 year old French driver for the #8 Haas car, who got his first seat in F1 for Renault in 2009. After his short stint with Renault he landed at Lotus in 2012, and has been with Haas since their inaugural season in 2016. After a rough start to the 2018 season, Romain pulled it together to score 37 points for the season, putting him in P14 overall.
- Kevin Magnussen is the 26 year old Danish driver for the #20 Haas car, who got his first F1 start in 2014 racing for McLaren. Kevin, or K-Mag as fans call him, had a strong showing in 2018, and was in a fight for the "best of the rest" in the constructor's standings before a string of bad luck late in the season cost him his chance at beating out rival Nico Hülkenberg. K-Mag finished P9 for the 2018 season, scoring a Haas F1 Team record, of 56 points.
Team Changes for 2019 to Watch
- Romain Grosjean’s new engineer is be Dominic Haines, who worked as Romain’s performance engineer from 2016.
- Kevin Magnussen will be working with Gary Gannon, who was Grosjean’s race engineer since Haas’ entry in 2016.
The Haas car is setup perfectly for Australia, so it is key that both drivers score points this weekend. Last year at Melbourne, they qualified P5 and P6 and they were running P4 and P5 before they had a dual DNF due to an issue with their pitstops releasing early… leaving massive points on the table.
The car won't always be this fast on tracks that are more aero demanding, so they must maximize points on the strongest tracks each and every time out.
Overall, the outlook for Haas in 2019 looks great. When the team is operating on all cylinders, they can definitely lead the mid-pack of teams - so they have to focus on eliminating needless mistakes, and finish consistently throughout the season.
They real key to F1 is consistency. Haas is good enough to finish P4, but the competition is as tough as it's ever been for them, so they could be as low as P8 for the season - which would be a disaster financially speaking. They need to win as many points as possible on tracks where speed is key, as that is where their current leg up is on the competition, with the superior Ferrari powertrain.
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