Haas can make a clear step forward in 2018 by focusing on aerodynamic improvements over the winter, according to team principal Guenther Steiner.
The American outfit enjoyed a strong second season in Formula 1, delivering a competitive car despite a change in regulations, and scored more points than in its debut season despite staying in the same position in the constructors’ championship. While Steiner has previously pointed to understanding tire performance as a major headache for the team, he believes Haas will benefit in a number of areas if it increases its level of downforce next year.
“Aerodynamic development; we have to do more,” Steiner said. “We stopped very early this season, and now with hindsight you would say ‘why did we not develop this car more?’ But hopefully we have the upside of that one next year when we start.
“Aerodynamically, our development stopped very early – I think that’s where need to find the biggest gain. If we improve aero, the tires work better so it’s an upwards spiral, not a downwards spiral. So hopefully we can get there.”
While highlighting the aerodynamic department as the team’s biggest area of expansion at present, Steiner says Haas needs to take a conservative approach due to its size.
“I don’t really understand the aggressive [approach] in aero as everyone is trying to copy each other, what is fast. I don’t think we are the team that want to be the geniuses out there that develops something and it doesn’t work and we are at the bottom. We would rather go solid, and I think that works for us better – to see what others are doing and trying to do the best out of that, and maybe refine it.
“We don’t have the resources like the big teams have got. Maybe they have ten people finding ‘out of space’ technology which we cannot do, we are not equipped and that is not what we want to do.
“We started to get people in last year, and there is more coming now. There are more than last year when we started; we did not have enough people as we’d just started. Our aero development should be more better and consistent.”