Repeating year one success will be hard for Haas in 2017

2017 F1 season preview: Haas

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Haas surprised the Formula One world – and themselves – with an astonishing start to their first Formula One season last year.

Twelve months on, life will be more difficult in the team’s second season. Not only have they had to build a substantially different car for 2017 owing to the new rules, but this time they had to do it in parallel with their existing programme.

On the upside they are the only customer team running Ferrari’s 2017 power unit, which already appears to be a considerable step forward from what they had last year. They continue to source the maximum available ancillary components under the rules from the Scuderia, which provided them with a strong platform last year.

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However Haas failed to get on top of braking problems which persisted for most of last season, and incredibly they are struggling with them still. A change in supplier is being evaluated but may not take place for several races.

Testing times indicated they could have more of a fight on their hands to get both cars through Q1 this year. However this will depend to some extent on whether Ferrari has emulated the high-performance qualifying modes Mercedes can use. Customer teams like Haas can expect to face restrictions on how often they can use such modes.

Team owner Gene Haas believes they can raise their performance level from last year. It’s fair to say this young squad can make gains in most areas: not just outright performance but operationally and in terms of reliability. But in terms of where they finish in the championship, merely repeating last year’s eighth place would be an achievement.


8. Romain Grosjean

Although 2016 started well, Grosjean was clearly aggravated by the team’s inability to solve its braking problems. It seems his frustration will continue at the beginning of the season at least. When the car was running well last year he put in some fine drives and demonstrated his versatility. But he will probably find it hard to resist a top team if one comes knocking for 2018.

20. Kevin Magnussen

Leaving Renault for Haas may be a step forward in the short term but is it really a wise career decision in the long term? A lot is riding on 2017 for Kevin Magnussen, who will embark on his third full season with a third different team. He appeared to be over-driving at times last season, but he should apply more pressure to Grosjean than Esteban Gutierrez did.

Poll: Which Haas driver will finish ahead in the championship?

Which Haas driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Kevin Magnussen (37%)
  • Romain Grosjean (63%)

Total Voters: 184

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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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21 comments on “Repeating year one success will be hard for Haas in 2017”

  1. Not convinced by either Haas driver. I’ll take more notice when they put Rossi in the car.

    1. digitalrurouni
      14th March 2017, 11:36

      I rate both much higher than Rossi.

    2. Rossi? You must not watch much racing…

    3. Both drivers are 10x better than Rossi is

    4. Rossi No way..
      The new var will fit Kev’s driving style
      You can race the new var.. the tyre last mutch Better.. so No more computer driving….

    5. What he is saying is that he wants an American driver in an American car. For alot of Americans, having a frenchman in an American car is worse. Just because we didn’t have replacement for Villeneuve in Canada, didn’t stop me from liking Alonso or Ricardo.Just be glad he didn’t also request that an American made gun rack be outfitted as an auxiliary diffuser.

    6. Why on earth should they put Rossi in the car – they have two great drivers both much better than Rossi….would make more sense to put Madonna behind the wheel – at least it would be fun to watch…

  2. surprised by the way this poll is going – grosjean has serious pedigree and magnussen has yet to do anything to convince us of his quality. if he beats grosjean then it will be a massive feather in his cap, but form suggests the complete opposite will happen.

    1. He got a podium on his debut?

    2. Grosjean had some easy… Years … Maldonado and Esteban.. He was beaten by Raikonen. Magnussen is a Better match…

      1. Raikkonen was on it quite a bit in 2012/13 though, I don’t think he got on well with the 2014/15 cars, the tail end of last season showed us that he still has pace, it wasn’t bad for Grosjean to be beaten by him, and Romain has matured a lot. I am intrigued as to how well K-Mag will do in a car that can contend for points again, he did impress me in 2014, did a lot better than I thought he would.

  3. In the third fastest car with 3 of the 4 drivers who should have been ahead of him out by either reliability or disqualification. He did beat Button on merit in that race but was then pretty much trounced by Button for the rest of the season.

    I’ve just never seen any flashes of remarkable driving from him which the special drivers manage even in mediocre cars. Grosjean has at times looked quite special though his consistency isn’t that of the great drivers.

    1. I remember MAG got the title “driver of the race” in one race last year…

      But this is soon forgotten as his podium in first F1 race – when was this last seen?… give this kid a chance – he didn’t have a easy time in Mclaren agains a WC in his rookie season – dumped for another WC by Honda – and put in a coffin of a car at Renault without spareparts in the end season – so his car was a dog after Spa….

      Think this is his chance…..

  4. Mark in Florida
    14th March 2017, 14:00

    I believe that Mags can do well with Haas. Haas is looking for stability in their drivers, if Mags has great consistency that’s what will help develop the car and score points for the team.Romain is a good driver but when he is frustrated by something about the car his emotions get the best of him. I do believe that he will jump team’s if he feels like it will be a step up. I believe that has always been in the cards and Haas knows that. So Mags will have a job that he can grow into and develop. My hope is that Ford will help back Haas as a factory team but the current engine and ers package makes that unattractive.

  5. i Was quite impressed by the way the HAAS rounded the corners in Barcelona. It seems the basis of the car is sound and if they succeed in solving the brake problem Mags can do nicely.
    Grosjean never seems to impress me, to much talking and to little performing. But he matured compared with his starting year.. Consistency is still his weak spot.
    Give Mag some races and he will probably beat Gros in quali.

  6. went for Grosjean, not convinced Magnussen has it week in week out. feel this might be one of the close inter-team battles.

  7. A close battle, but i´m confident that Mags finally can unfold much more of his potential – he´s got great talent.

  8. I’m a little surprised at the comments, as Grosjean is leading the poll with 60%!
    I rate him quite highly, certainly in the top half of the field. He has shown that he can be very quick when he is confident in the car and I think the Haas car is going to surprise yet again this year, although it’s hard to understand how they haven’t sorted out their brake problems as it’s been an issue since mid-2016.

  9. I just want Romain to be happy. His smile makes me feel happy and smiley too :-)

    1. And maybe a little in love?

  10. Even with all the support Haas had from Ferrari their debut in F1 last year, scoring points in their first two races, was big surprise. Teams usually find their second season in F1 even harder so I would again be surprised if they managed to repeat that success again this season.

    I think their driver line up is stronger this year though and it would be more likely that both drivers mange to score points this time around if the car is as competitive as last year.

    Although I think Magnussen is a better choice than Gutierrez I still think Grosjean will be the Haas driver who finishes ahead in the championship.

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