Romain Grosjean, Haas, Albert Park, 2018

Haas’s “Ferrari replica” impresses their rivals

2018 F1 season

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Romain Grosjean’s sixth place in the second practice session caught the eye of Haas’s rivals on Friday at Albert Park.

The Haas driver was just seven-tenths of a second off the best time of the day. No one outside of the ‘big three teams’ was within half a second of him.

“Haas is really impressive, I must say,” admitted Pierre Gasly. “They are really fast.”

Pre-season testing indicated the team had hit the ground running. “In Barcelona already we could see they had huge potential,” said Gasly. “Grosjean proved it again today. To be fair I think they’re a bit out of our reach, objectively.”

Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Albert Park, 2018
Australian Grand Prix practice in pictures
Haas takes maximum advantage of the opportunity offered under F1’s rules to use ‘non-listed parts’ designed by Ferrari, something Fernando Alonso alluded to.

“We knew Haas was the biggest surprise,” he said. “They have obviously a Ferrari replica of last year. They were winning here the Ferrari [last year].”

“I think [Haas] will be very strong in this first part of the season. Hopefully we can be close to them.”

While Haas has tended to start its campaigns strongly, notably in its debut 2016 season when it scored fifth and sixth places in the first two races, it hasn’t fared as well as its rivals on car development. Esteban Ocon is counting on that being the case again.

“They are always quick in the beginning of the season,” he said. “They were last year, very fast, then we caught up in during the season last year. So today they are quick, let’s see tomorrow, that’s when it counts. But at the moment they are very quick.”

Haas diverted its energies from its 2017 car to this year’s model very early last year. Grosjean is optimistic it has put them in a strong position for the year ahead which help them stay competitive in the midfield.

“What’s really encouraging is we’re not too far from the Ferraris which is a good benchmark for us,” he said. “But again I think it’s pretty tight behind as well. It’ll be interesting and I think the midfield fight is going to be all year long.”

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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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  • 19 comments on “Haas’s “Ferrari replica” impresses their rivals”

    1. I remember back in 2003, 2004or 2005 Sauber made a nearly identical Ferrari replica. If it’s allowed then good on them, but developing the car is the next step.

      1. That was an actual replica, but running Michelin tyres back in 05. The Sauber was almost as good as the Ferrari. The Haas copy based on the current Ferrari suspension and powertrain seems to be very good, if I were Ferrari I’d be disappointed of only getting .5 from my previous car, so It’s good that Haas is this close.

    2. A competitive HAAS this year could be very good news for Grosjean. Some good performances and he could again find himself the favourite for the second Ferrari seat.

    3. Yep it is Ferrari last year car.

      1. Only certain (approved) parts.
        Aero is as all theirs; PU is this year (same for Sauber).

        What I read from this is that Ferrari (the red one) is not that special with their aero compared to Ferhaasi.

    4. According to AMuS, Grosjean had the best long run on the US of anyone. Eleven laps (longer than most) and yet the best average time of anyone. That’s really encouraging, although it does suggest that Ferrari are still sandbagging, unless their car of last year is on par with the current car?

      1. @hahostolze, it seems that Grosjean was probably on a lighter fuel load that most of the other drivers who ran a stint on the ultra soft tyres though, and it looks like Auto Motor und Sport don’t seem to have corrected for that (he’d already done a stint on the super soft tyres before he then switched over to the US tyres). Once that is taken into account, it seems to suggest that Haas are the fourth fastest team, although the margins between them, McLaren and Renault seem relatively small.

      2. Ferrari had a strong package last year but driver errors and technical engine problems ruined the championship. As result they took new route and developed a almost complete new car.. not sure if that route is the right one. Looks a bit like development panic.

    5. It would be superb to see HAAS in the mix with the “best of the rest” after the top 3.

      I can see their relative performance dropping over the course of the season in comparison with teams such as McLaren and Renault who have much more resources available to them. But it’s always great to see a team being competitive, it’s good for HAAS and it’s good for F1.

      But I suppose this is all just practice – tomorrow morning we’ll have a better idea how good it is, but it might be more of a test of drivers’ wet racing skills if we get rain in quali!

    6. So to what extent is the replica comment accurate? @keithcollantine would it be possible to do one of those sliding comparison picture thingys for this year’s Haas and last year’s Ferrari?

      1. @maciek

        Probably a replica under the bodywork.

        1. cool @johnmilk thanks for reminding me of that… so on the face of it at least saying replica is a major exaggeration – in terms of bodywork anyways, outside of some details, looks to me like Haas has its own philosophy.

          1. @maciek yes, replica is an exaggeration, even though there are some similarities, especially the engine cover, even though the Ferrari seems tighter at the back. That is of course where the engine sits and similar packaging should be expected

            at least, if Magnussen finished ahead of Alonso he can always ask him what it feel like being beaten by a replica, and if there is a driver that might say something like that it is Magnussen

            1. Even though I sound like a F1 driver for sure

            2. Donald F. Draper
              23rd March 2018, 22:39

              I see what you did there ;)

      2. @maciek Current, drivetrain and suspension, not last years. Can’t be last years car because this Haas is longer than last years Ferrari. As with last year their car must be the same length as ferrari’s due to the sharing of suspension components. If Haas copied the aero, the aero does look a bit like last years Ferrari but I actually think Dallara did some more extreme things than Ferrari, like the front bulkhead.

    7. Alonso can be such a bad loser..

    8. McLaren should try making a replica of a fast McLaren.

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