First Haas F1 chassis is a “great car” – Gutierrez

2016 F1 season

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Esteban Gutierrez has praised the Haas VF-16 – the first chassis produced by the new F1 team – as a “great car”.

“I love driving it,” said Gutierrez ahead of his return to racing in next week’s Australian Grand Prix. “It’s very enjoyable.”

“I’ve had cars in the past which were difficult to fine tune in order to get a good feeling where you can anticipate, where you can push the car to the limit. The VF-16, straight away had a good feeling. As a baseline, that’s always a good sign. It’s a great car.”

Grosjean’s brake-by-wire problems were fixed
Although pre-season testing was not trouble-free for Gutierrez, who managed just a single lap on the sixth day due to turbo problems, he said the team’s preparations for its debut had gone “better than expected”.

“As a new team, we managed to put the car on track and, on the first day, we managed to do a very good amount of laps. Most importantly, we got to know the car, which is the biggest question mark after months of preparation.”

“When I saw the car for the first time on paper, I was imagining how it would feel. Then finally, I arrived at Barcelona. I went out for my installation lap and after two or three corners, I could already say something about the car. It was a very interesting moment.”

Team principal Guenther Steiner said Gutierrez and team mate Romain Grosjean gave similar verdicts on the VF-16. “They both had the same feedback of the car and how it was behaving,” he said.

“When we sent Romain out on the day we experienced the brake system problem, he said, ‘Something is wrong with the brakes, guys.’ It was very difficult to locate the issue because it was electronic, but we believed him because for him to make two mistakes, we knew something was wrong.”

“On the last day, we left Romain in the car an hour longer than planned after lunch so we could finish some set-up work. Then we put Esteban in and he confirmed the work we did before. So, we’ve got a basic set-up for both drivers which will be very similar in Australia.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “First Haas F1 chassis is a “great car” – Gutierrez”

  1. I’m surprised that Gutierrez’s sponsors haven’t transferred from the Ferraris to the Hass cars to be honest

    1. they get more visibility and marketing value when on Ferrari, just like santander stuck with them even tho alonso moved on, or it could very well be that it was multi-year contract and they will transfer after that.

  2. As an American I’m really excited to see this team in its current position. No disrespect to Manor, and I wish them all the best, but I’d love to see Haas punching above its weight from the start.

    1. Punching above its weight? The VF-16 is 90% a Ferrari 2015. Yes, it’s completely build by Haas, and they will have start up issues, but the base of the car should make it at least faster than Manor and Sauber. At the end of the season I expect them to be at least 9th in the constructor championships, battling mostly with Saubers, Renaults and perhaps McLaren.

      1. Looking at Keith’s side by side comparisons yesterday, I would say that the VF-16 is 90% Ferrari 2016! I wish the team well and I believe the 2016 season will be spiced up by their presence but To be quite honest, I do not believe that Haas’s F1 “kit car” should be even eligible for the F1Constructors Championship…

        1. Good point and I agree with Baron. I am all for customer cars, but they should not be eligible for CC points. Drivers points no problem.

        2. @baron @dutchtreat They’re not really ccustomer cars though.

          It’s not like Hesketh, or even the year Ferrari bought a car and won the championship with it.

          Lotus also had a few customers.

      2. They have done great job till now, but real struggles will start, last year they were not official competitors so could get lot of support, but now they have to develop and try to keep-up or even improve over a season on their own. They have money, so lets see how they perform.

  3. Mark in Florida
    12th March 2016, 0:16

    Apparently some of you missed the point that Haas did everything legally. Just because Haas used his imagination to do a car differently and go racing shouldn’t engender such criticisms. The car will evolve to be different than the Ferrari and in the end Ford is strongly rumoured to be considered for a possible return to F1. If Haas does well it could point the way forward for others looking to go racing and not be perpetually in last place.

    1. Not that long ago Ford went racing with a team called Jaguar, they have no staying power, in F1.
      And yes of course Haas is legal they had Dallara built a car to Ferrari specs…

    2. Imagination is required in F1. If you don’t use your imagination, you’re losing places.

    3. Not a criticism “Mark in Florida” merely an observation. When such things were done before – budgets were much smaller and it was possible to race in F1 on a shoestring with parts sourced from just about everywhere (Williams springs to mind). It has evolved into the ultimate Constructors Championship with the DWC somewhat of a sideshow, with huge budgets commensurate with the complexities of producing the ultimate racing machine in small batches. Haas’s stated intention was not to make anything if he could help it and whilst it is an admirable strategy that may well catapult him straight into the mid-field, I suspect we have already started down the road of a two tiered Constructors Championship. How will that end for the series as a whole? Not well I fear..

      Make no mistake, if Haas starts punching well above his weight, which I suspect he might, the Piranhas will have a feeding frenzy..

      “Baron in Hampshire”

      1. Mark in Florida
        12th March 2016, 20:23

        Well put, that’s why I think that Haas is being intelligent in his approach to the current situation. There is no way that a startup team can be competitive and get anywhere near the points position anymore due to the manufacturer dominance. Haas has analyzed the current state of F1 and said this is what it will take to be competitive right away. It would be nice to say, hey we built the whole thing ,but Haas isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. They just want to be racing somewhere other than the back of the field.

  4. Actually the chassis was designed (and brought out) by Dallara I think?

    1. Indeed but if you think that the “Dallara designed chassis” does NOT owe it’s DNA almost entirely to Ferrari then I fear you must be wearing those rose tinted spectacles….

    2. No is not. It’s built by Dallara. Not designed.

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