Haas pit gantry, 2023

Haas free up $250,000 for car development by shrinking pit gantry

2023 F1 season

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has explained how team has moved to a three-person pit gantry set up to save money that they can invest into car development.

During every track activity, teams set up a gantry on the pit wall where race engineers and team management observe and analyse the performance of their cars, communicate with drivers and make decisions on strategy.

Usually, team pit gantries feature enough room for around five to seven personnel, but Haas have raised eyebrows in the Bahrain test by setting up a svelte three-person pit gantry. Steiner told media including RaceFans that the slimmed-down set up amounted to a significant cost saving towards their budget cap.

“When you need to make [savings], you look at everything, but not efficiency,” Steiner explained.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023 pre-season test
Gallery: Pre-season testing day two in pictures
“When you need money to invest in development, because we are at the cost cap, where do you put it? You have six people out there, or a quarter of a million [dollars] on car updates? I know what we are doing.”

Steiner reiterated that the move would save around a quarter of a million dollars on the team’s transport costs over the course of the season. The three spaces on the gantry are limited to only personnel that are operationally required, with Steiner explaining that means he is not present on the pit wall at this test.

“The guys came up with that idea and I said ‘if I need to stay inside, I have no problem to do it as well’,” he said. “I don’t need to be there.

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“But they said ‘with three seats, we can cover what we need to cover’ and we rearranged, but it’s mainly a saving to put that money into development because we are at the cost cap.”

F1 team’s pit gantries at Bahrain test

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2023 F1 season

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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17 comments on “Haas free up $250,000 for car development by shrinking pit gantry”

  1. It’s weird to see Alpha Tauri having the largest gantry. What do they need eight people there for?

    1. Some of the teams run larger teams back at the factory, it maybe Alpha Tauri don’t have as many external teams and choose to keep more people together on the pit wall. I don’t really get why any team has a gantry anymore in F1 to be honest, you could just as easily setup in a safer location elsewhere in the paddock.

  2. I’ve always wondered why these pit things are needed in this age. Maybe a long time ago you needed to be there to have any sense of perspective from the track and pit garage, but nowadays?

    I also wonder why they don’t use standard pit thingies… seems like a rather convenient way to save money across all teams…

  3. And I thought it was an April Fool’s Joke.

  4. Every day, F1 becomes less of an engineering battle, and more of an accountancy and spreadsheets battle.

    1. Renan Martinuzzo
      24th February 2023, 12:19

      I disagree that F1 is becoming an accountant’s sport. I actually believe is a welcome constraint that may lead to, in the future, less strict technical regulations.

      These changes are actually aimed at improving the sport, hopefully leveling the playing field in the mid-long term and leveraging more on ingenuity and talent rather than the size of the coffers of each team.

      Big teams will have to change their approach on how they design cars to something in between what they currently do and the smaller teams do, reaching for performance advantage throughout risky innovative concepts rather than high levels of R&D expenditure mid-season. This will create variability and a natural shake of the pecking order.

      On the same time, smaller teams will be able to invest in modernizing their infra and capabilities for future seasons without the drawback of restricting their R&D budget to the point of falling back too much from start to end of seasons.

      Both things, I think, will allow F1 to eventually be less prescriptive in their regulations as, in the end of the day, all teams will have the same budget and will have to take risks knowing that they won’t be able to spend billions to catch up if they come with the wrong solutions – a benefit big teams currently have.

      1. Agree with this 100%

    2. If a piece of furniture is detrimental to a team’s performance, then I think that’s just the complete wrong approach to any sport. Saving up on it to spend somewhere else is the sort of ingenuity many many people have used all throughout the sport, making the most of a particular situation. The budget cap is exactly that, a limitation.

  5. This is the most interesting, cool and exciting photo comparison gallery in the history of F1Fanatic/Racefans!!

    Williams, McLaren and Red Bull pit gantries for the win!

    1. Pathetic. Get rid of the poor teams so rich teams can spend money and bring us marvelous technology

  6. Love and garage, love and garage,
    Go together like a horse and carriage.
    This I tell ya, brother, you can’t have one without the other.

    Love and garage, love and garage,
    It’s an institute you can’t disparage.
    Ask the Hass new gantry and they will say it’s elementary.

  7. They’re more interesting colours than the cars!

  8. I love this. Only the little people have to obey the cap. Red Bull will have an even bigger gantry now.

  9. Easy solution – just abandon it and you’ll have a best developed car on the grid!

  10. Interesting indeed

  11. I didn’t think Mercedes had one! Toto, the race engineers et al sit in the garage.

  12. It does seem strange to me that things that are not directly related to car performance (e.g. catering or where the team sits) are included in the cap. I wouldn’t be surprised if a team went extreme cheapskate on all other costs to maximise car development, e.g. instead of catering we now have a bbq/sausage sizzle at every grand prix or the team has no trackside personel asides from the required pit crew/mechanics, drivers and team principal.

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