Formula One’s presence in America has been increased thanks to the arrival of the American Haas team in 2016. A midfield running team in their first two seasons, the team could face an uphill battle in 2018.
|First F1 Appearance||2016 Australian Grand Prix|
|Team Principal||Guenther Steiner|
Established in April 2014, by NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas, the team was originally planning to make its début in the 2015 season, but later deferred their entry until the next season. Following the collapse of the Marussia team, Haas purchased the team’s base in Banbury, to compliment their American base in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The team benefits from a close working relationship with Ferrari, who supply them with engines and additional support.
Haas announced Romain Grosjean as their lead driver in September 2015, before announcing at the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix that Esteban Gutierrez would join him. Their first race – the 2016 Australian Grand Prix – was quite extraordinary. While Esteban Gutierrez was involved in a large accident with Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean finished a fantastic sixth – thus making Haas the first team to score points on début since Toyota in 2002. At the next round, Grosjean bettered that and scored a fifth place finish. They became the first all-new team to score in their first two races since Shadow in 1973. Haas have never finished as high as fifth again, and suffered a number of technical niggles throughout 2016. Though Grosjean did continue to score points throughout their maiden season, Gutierrez struggled on his way to five frustrating 11th place finishes before being dropped by the team at the end of 2016. They finished a respectable eighth in the standings in their first year in the sport.
Kevin Magnussen joined the team for 2017, and his points perhaps masked the team’s slip in performance. Magnussen scored nineteen points over 2017, compared to Guiterrez’s zero in 2016. Overall, the team scored eighteen more points than in 2016, so it’s questionable whether those extra points were down to a better car or a better driver line-up. It was, at times, a difficult sophomore season, but the team seemed to be more at grasp with their car. The opening round of the season was one of the highlights, as Grosjean scored the team’s best ever qualifying result with sixth place, while Brazil was a low point, with both drivers crashing through their own errors on the first lap.
After their second season, it’s hard to judge what the future will hold for the Haas team. McLaren and Renault will, most likely, be out of reach for the American team in 2018, so Haas may find themselves with only Toro Rosso and Sauber for company towards the rear of the grid.
HAAS’ RECENT F1 HISTORY
|2016||8th (29 points)||0||0||Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez|
|2017||8th (47 points)||0||0||Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen|
|2018||Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen|