Guenther Steiner, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Front-running teams “will get two years ahead” – Steiner

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the front-running F1 teams will be able to build up an advantage over their smaller rivals before the budget cap comes in.

What they say

F1 budgets will be capped from 2021, but teams have next year to spend what they can, as Steiner pointed out:

They will get two years ahead, obviously. But I’m not worried because you can’t do anything about it anyway. It is what it is.

We are in December, what can you do? Even if you get 20 million, it’s difficult now to do something because who do you find to work for a year because then you have to let them go again? They are just stronger, they just have got more resources and they will be ahead.

But nobody is surprised by this. At some stage you need to make this step. I mean you don’t get around it. Get over it and then go from there.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

How long will it be until we see a woman racing in Formula 1?

Hopefully it will happen sooner than later but so much has yet to be done. Calderon didn’t exactly set the world on fire in F2 with being more or less last in the championship. It just highlights that there must be many more women in the ladders to be able to see emerging talents at potential F1 level.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Bascb, Olliekart, Bosyber, Curmudgeon and Pat Ruadh!

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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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18 comments on “Front-running teams “will get two years ahead” – Steiner”

  1. Considering Haas runs Ferraris old car then Ferrari is also a year behind.

    1. When will this nonsense stop? It can’t work for too many reasons but you perhaps try to look at the cars?
      Alonso is no longer here and no longer in need of outrageous accusations to excuse his own mediocrity, so it’s high time to lay this bogus to rest. (Like Alonso’s F1 career).

  2. It is not that spending more money will get you two years ahead. It will help, but spending more development money without proper testing is extremely inefficient; you don’t know in which direction to steer de development.
    We see every year that some teams get a bit ahead over the winter (more money spent, or a lucky design direction). During the season though, others can catch up fairly easily when they have a good organisation and sufficient money.
    We saw in 2009 that Brawn was miles ahead, but over the season others caught up and RBR was the fastest package by the second half of the season.

    1. @coldfly I don’t think the Brawn-Red Bull development race is a good example. Brawn GP quite simply didn’t have the budget for in-season development, while Red Bull was one of the top spenders in the field. Usually, the team that starts the season as the best car, ends the season as the best car. Other teams tend to catch up, as over the season, they have more to gain, and copying the opposition is useful in this. However, in 2021, I fully expect the top runners to be up to 2 seconds ahead of the rest, and maybe even pull away like we saw in 2017.

    2. @coldfly Apart from what @mashiat explained, in 2009 Brawn wasn’t miles ahead in the first few races really either. Red Bull had a car that was just about as fast as the Brawn was from the start. Red Bull locked out the front row in the third race and Toyota did the same in the fourth race.

      It’s just that Vettel managed to crash out of 3 of the first 6 races and gave away the win in Turkey to Button by losing control.

      More importantly, Button was magnificent. Faultless and yet agressive when it mattered. Button had only 4 poles in 2009. He didn’t simply cruise to those early wins. Like for instance that great race in Bahrain where he started from P4 and took the win.

      1. That’s not how I remember that year

    3. Here we go again: Brawn won a court case about “rule interpretation” allowing them to run a car with double diffusers, clear as day 100% oppositie of the INTENTION of the regulation in question. Other teams didn’t have trouble understanding the intensions and designed legal cars. The illegal diffuser design impacted the entire aero design, hence it took more than half a season for the others to make their cars as illegal as the Brawn, and it was all over. Fortunately this was a unique case and not a valid example at all. The only comparable example was the Brabham BT46 (fan car) and even Bernie, who owned the team, could see that the advantage was too ridiculous and had it changed after the first race.

      1. Let’s not rewrite history re: the BT46 Fan Car. Bernie didn’t didn’t ditch the car simply because he thought it gave him too much of an advantage! What happened was that the other teams in the Formula One Constructors Association (that Bernie had spearheaded) lodged strong protests with the FIA. Technically, the rules stated that movable aero parts were illegal but Brabham facetiously claimed that the fan was a cooling device. FOCA threatened Bernie with legal and other mayhem and Bernie wisely realized that withdrawing the car and maintaining peace and cohesion within the FOCA was in his long term financial and political interests.

  3. Happy birthday to @olliekart, @bosyber, @curmudgeon and Pat Ruad! I hope you all enjoy a great day

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      24th December 2019, 13:45

      Belated happy birthday to you too @bascb! Hope you had a good one!

      1. Thanks @fullcoursecaution, yeah, that was quite a solid birthday.

  4. They are just stronger, they just have got more resources and they will be ahead.

    As a thought, maybe part of this despondency is because of the driving team.
    I don’t like to question their drivers abilities, but where do Haas want to be at the end of 2020 and 2021? Haas definitely don’t want to be at the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship table, they’d much rather finish those seasons with good points. I think that result is achievable for them, but forethought is essential. To do that Haas need to do a lot of work, and one aspect is their driving line up needs a skills upgrade. I don’t know how seriously Haas looked into signing Nico Hulkenberg, but having him as one of the driving team could have been a moral boost for the whole team. However, Haas obviously know better. I’m not exactly sure how they could go about making their current lineup better, maybe their drivers need to spend more time studying how tyres work. At the start of 2021 there will be new tyres and new wheels. If Haas are going to dominate the midfield in 2021 then they have to master the 2019 spec tyres. If they can’t do that then 2021 is going to be an even more painful season of floundering than either 2019 or 2020 was.

  5. I think what Steiner isn’t considering is the teams at the front messing up.

    Just because Mercedes has coped well with regulation changes (The last major one of course was 2014 and since then it’s been evolution, not revolution) for a while, doesn’t mean they will. Ditto the other big teams.

    Look at 2009. The teams with the biggest budgets at the time royally screwed up, with McLaren, Ferrari both going the complete wrong direction and BMW Sauber going from a title contender to abandoning the sport. Red Bull of course took themselves from 7th in the WCC to second.

    Yes, it’s far more likely that the big teams will take the new rules and get them right and throw more money this year to try to get there, but there’s always the risk that they may not, and budget is not the only factor. If they pour millions into the wrong thing while other teams find a concept that is just better, they’ll lose.

    We shall see what happens in 2021 of course but I think the doom merchants need to hold off just a tad!

  6. How much they invest on R&D for 2021 and beyond will depend on what their plans for the future are I think. Renault for instance may be spending above average on next yrs car but their longer term investment is in doubt. There is also a question mark over Mercs plans for the next decade.
    Mclaren will definitely be investing heavily as will Ferrari.

  7. Usual Haas form, they will be propping up the back of the grid in 2021 without a representative previous year Ferrari to base off.

    2016 – Good start based off the ’15 Ferrari
    2017 – Major reg change, bad form.
    2018 – Good enough
    2019 – Significant aero change, bad.
    2020 – Calling it now they will be solid midfield contenders next year.
    2021 – Awful, theyll be propping up the back of the grid.
    2022 – Very decent, maybe score their first podium.

    1. And now please explain the rationale of re-using an old car but providing it with a different wheel base?

      1. Which iteration was that? And define old car, old Ferrari or old Haas? Clarify.

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