Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Albert Park, 2018

Haas drivers dismiss Alonso’s “Ferrari replica” jibe

2018 Australian Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen dismissed Fernando Alonso’s description of their car as a “Ferrari replica” following their strong start to the season in Australia.

Alonso made the comments prior to qualifying, where the Haas pair claimed third row starting positions.

Former McLaren driver Magnussen said Alonso is “annoyed that we’re in front.”

“And I wonder why it happened to McLaren. I’ve raced for the team and seen the infrastructure. And compared to this, it must be annoying.”

Grosjean is unhappy the nature of the team’s relationship with Ferrari is facing criticism again. “It’s the same thing every time we’re fast,” he said.

2018 Australian Grand Prix qualifying in pictures
“It was the same thing last year, we were a ‘Ferrari B [team]’ We’re using the same suspension, the same gearbox, the same engine. Everyone knows that the suspension are defining a lot of the flow so of course there’s going to be similarities.

“But again we’re doing our own car and if we were a Ferrari B we’d be up there with them. It’s not true and it’s not nice for the people that work at Haas and produce a Haas VF-18.”

Haas should serve as an example to potential new teams of how to come into Formula One, said Grosjean.

“I think the way we operate the team and the way we’ve created our partnership is good for F1. It shows that you can come and make things look pretty good in a small amount of time.

“Of course if we had to do everything from zero we’d be nowhere [near] where we are today. So I think it’s a good thing for Formula One to show that ‘look, if you want to come to Formula One there’s a way to do it that you can actually be successful early on.”

However Grosjean said he expects F1’s richer teams will pull further ahead over the rest of the season.

“I think more the season goes, the more the gap opens with the top teams,” he said. “They have 1,000 employees, we can’t really compete.”

Fifth and sixth will be the best ever combined starting positions for Haas since their arrived in F1 two years ago. Grosjean said he and Magnussen will “have a word” about their tactics to avoid tangling with each other.

“I’m not worried, I think we’ve got a good relationship,” he said. “Everything can happen, obviously, it’s racing, an incident can happen but I’m sure we’ll do our best effort to not do a Force India-type scenario.”

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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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  • 43 comments on “Haas drivers dismiss Alonso’s “Ferrari replica” jibe”

    1. Got to love Kevin

      1. Tommy Scragend
        24th March 2018, 21:15

        “And I wonder why it happened to McLaren. I’ve raced for the team and seen the infrastructure. And compared to this, it must be annoying. But they can suck my balls.”

    2. The Haas replica remark is what happens when medicore drivers like Perez, Ocon, Hulkenberg and the King himself Alonso, got beaten by better drivers today.

      Because it can’t be their own mistakes and performance, that landed their car behind the replica team.

      But keep up the good work work in trying to persuade fans and F1 bosses they are the best drivers.

      At least you can’t fool me.

      1. Working for McLaren

        Interested in working for McLaren or looking for information on internships we offer? Please visit the McLaren Careers website to find out more about working at McLaren

        Team McLaren Ltd.
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        Within the UK (0)333 014 5353. Outside the UK +44 (0)333 014 5353*.

      2. Better drivers? Who exactly are these better drivers? Grosjean? Magnusson?

      3. There is no need to call Alonso mediocre just because he 1) is not perfect 2) sometimes makes inadequate comments 3) has not always been good at building relationships, which are as important in F1 as being quick and smart 4) (just like other drivers) has some inadequate fans / defenders.

        I believe that these discussions would be much more fruitful if everyone accepted that 1) ‘great driver’ does not equal ‘nice driver’ 2) even the greatest drivers have bad days. Also, they make errors, sometimes serious.

    3. They can say whatever they want to deny it. It is clear as day there is Ferrari knowledge there. And the amount is increasing year by year.

      1. Yes and McLaren are jelaous because last time they competed for WCC they had Ferrari knowledge themselves

        1. And now it’s Renault and a pile of money and emplyees.

        2. Ha ha, that wins FOTD – “funny of the day” KevinY!

        3. Comment of the year

        4. ‘Themselves’ a single rogue employee who had a dodgy mate at Ferrari in an era of spying and copying already

          1. @bigjoe let us have some fun, it’s is just a yoke, a yoke!

      2. Who is denying what? It is common knowledge (restated above by Grosjean) that the Haas cars utilize nearly all of the Ferrari “customer” parts explicitly allowed by the regulations. Power units, suspension, gearbox, etc. Nobody is denying that there is “Ferrari knowledge” in the construction of the Haas car.

        1. If by “etc” you mean most of the aerodynamics, then ok.

    4. I don’t think it is unfair to call them a Ferrari B team, and I don’t think it is accurate for RG to say if they were a Ferrari B team they’d be up there with them. If they were truly a Ferrari replica they would be up here with Ferrari. So maybe FA is being slightly sarcastic, but Haas should also admit the help they get with their association with Ferrari, which I’m sure they don’t deny.

      1. 2 @robbie

        If they were truly a Ferrari replica they would be up here with Ferrari

        What are you trying to say? That Ferrari wasn’t able to improve the car from 2017 to 2018? Ferrari calculated that their new car will be seriously faster than the 2017 car. So they gave their chassis to Haas to protect themselves from McLaren and Renault in the first races.

        1. Except they use a Dallara chassis.

      2. They don’t, they acknowledge it, read their statements above

      3. Except Ferrari B team is Sauber.

        Haas is just trying to get best performance for their buck within regulations and quite often succeding.

        Technically McLaren could buy some Ferrari parts aswell, but for historic reasons they rather struggle.

        1. @jureo I guess Sauber is now the C team then? As for McLaren using Ferrari parts, not sure it will ever happen. Now if you said to me McLaren-Renault ten years ago, I wouldn’t believe it :)

    5. Magnussen is right. McLaren have been underperforming badly since 2013 and not much has changed this year. Even if they ultimately get it together, they will still be only the best of the rest, miles behind Red Bull with the same power units.

      As for Haas, I cannot blame them for anything. F1 business model has failed. Three perfectly good not-B teams entered F1 in 2010 and we all know how they ended up. So Haas did the only right thing by taking as much from Ferrari as they could. I, for one, am happy that the ridiculously small F1 grid has at least not shrinked to 18 cars (yet).

      Alonso can complain all he wants, somehow he has managed to scare off the very best F1 teams since 2008 despite being one of all-time greats. He could probably be fighting for his 10th title in a Mercedes, yet here he is, blaming other midfield teams for being better. As it will take many years for McLaren and F1 to fix themselves, I am afraid that there is no happy ending in sight for Alonso’s F1 story.

      1. Perhaps all he is saying is that Mclaren is now close to a Ferrari replica….why does everyone take it as an insult to Haas?

        1. Its seen as an insult at Hass because a comment like that degrade all the hard work the team has put into making this car (as Grosjean state himself)

      2. @girts

        “scare off the very best F1 teams since 2008”

        Nonsense of the day
        He had offers from Honda/Brawn and Red Bull who were the best teams since your date. Like an idiot he waited at Renault for his Ferrari contract and was lured away from them by the biggest partnership in F1.
        When Mercedes disgracefully shunned Schumacher for Hamilton there was no way another top line driver was going to Merc, just as they will never put Vetstappen or Vettel there with Lewis, they were never going to put Alonso there.
        Only Ron Dennis could handle such partnerships.

      3. @girts

        “scare off the very best F1 teams since 2008”

        He had offers from Honda/Brawn and Red Bull who were the best teams since your date. He waited at Renault for his Ferrari contract and was lured away from them by the biggest partnership in F1.
        When Mercedes shunned Schumacher for Hamilton there was no way another top line driver was going to Merc, just as they will never put Vetstappen or Vettel there with Lewis, they were never going to put Alonso there.
        Only Ron Dennis could handle such partnerships.

        ‘Alonso can complain all he wants’

        You dont seem to be as vociferous over any of Alonso’s regular compliments he makes

    6. I don’t see a problem with the entire car being effectively produced by Ferrari. The only real issue is whether Ferrari and Haas compete as two different teams, its drivers competing with each other, or as a tactical unit (along the lines of cycling teams, with 3 drivers working to assist 1 win the races and championship). While the ‘b’ team is, say, in a different league in soccer, or towards the back of the grid in F1, it’s not really much of an issue. If Haas starts to beat Red Bull to third, behind Ferrari, then the questions might begin to mount up, depending on what we see on track during the races.

      1. @david-br
        Well we’ve seen that with Sauber in the past, and Toro Rosso and Red Bull more recently. Personally I don’t think Haas’ relationship with Ferrari is the same, they seem more like an independent outfit that happens to buy lots of off-the-shelf parts. Sauber is more of a Ferrari B-team given they have a Ferrari driver and are in a commercial partnership with the same company.

        I quite like the way Haas works, reminds me of some of the 70s teams buying chassis from bigger constructors.

        1. Sorry, see below, the reply button didn’t work properly, or I didn’t (99% likely the latter).

    7. I think you’re right @george, I was just speculating about when it would be a concern. As it stands, much more a case of Alonso being (justifiably) peeved that just when McLaren have advanced, another team has done more so. shutting them out of Q3 still.

    8. Sorry but I have to concur with Alonso on this one. That Haas is a SF70H in Haas clothing IMO. And I don’t see why there is any shame in that.

      1. Neither does Haas.

    9. Eh both sides are right to an extend. Looking at the surface it’s obvious Haas car is really looks like last year Ferrari and aero is all about surface not internals. Even the internals we knew they use a lot of parts supplied by Ferrari to the maximum that the rules allowed. However, it’s also true that all other parts not supplied by Ferrari is build by Haas and its not like Haas engineers just clocked in and sippin coffee waiting email update from Ferrari. So Alonso just saying what all people already thinking and Magnussen/Grosjean just saying what people already know to rebut such a statement. In other words, everyone already played this conversation long before they all said it on the record.

      Haas playing it right for a new F1 team. Running the best strategies to get the best result for them now. The big question is when they’ll “declare independence” and start aiming for victories because while this strategy is very safe to keep them in midfield, it have practically zero chance to defeat the Ferrari.

    10. Mark in Florida
      24th March 2018, 16:58

      When Haas first entered F1 and finished higher than everyone expected there were howls of protest. As the year progressed and Haas dropped further down the order everyone went silent. Now it’s the same thing people crying and moaning about a team that is starting off well despite such a low budget. It’s like a guy with a 911 getting spanked by a hot rod 72 VW Beetle. Yeah you got beat but your still driving a 911. McLaren is still McLaren they will out develop Haas over the course of a year, stop moaning and blaming others for your poor results. Also Dallara makes the car not Ferrari. The chassis is supposedly much heavier than the Ferrari.

    11. He should of said to Alonso what he said to Hulkenberg last year but Alonso may have taken him up on the offer. McLaren will beat Haas this year, if they dont it would be fantastic. Alonso was a plonker from a sporting perspective to go to McLaren but he is financially compensated.

    12. Kind of funny really since Alonso could have still been in the real Ferrari (theoretically speaking), not just in a “replica”.

      Having said that, I would still love to see the Macs up there fighting the “Replica” team. And Renault.

      1. Alonso a Ferrari driver for 8 seasons without a championship?
        No way.
        ’14 was his limit, and if it wasn’t, certainly he wouldn’t last another 3 seasons waiting for a better shot.

    13. I’m sure it’s more down to this track suits the Hass car, if they are still performing at this level by mid season, then all credit to them.

    14. It looks exactly like the Ferrari, especially the front part. Why is somebody trying to deny it and diss Alonso?

    15. All cars look resonably the same. If you have Ferrari back end, you might want to copy Ferrari front end to go with it. Test it refine it, but use it.

    Comments are closed.