Haas is vital to Formula 1 if it is to grow interest in the United States, as well as proving that new teams can succeed in the sport, according to Ross Brawn.
The 2019 season has been tough for Haas, which currently sits ninth in the constructors’ championship, but Kevin Magnussen secured points for the team for only the second time in 10 races on Sunday. Haas finished fifth in the standings last year after a pair of eighth places in its first two seasons in F1, and the sport’s managing director of motorsports Brawn said its importance should not be underestimated.
“Gene Haas’ team is a valuable asset for Formula 1,” Brawn said. “It is the first example of a new team establishing itself in a sport that for too many years has seen teams come and go in a short space of time, without ever really making their mark. It’s also important because it flies the U.S. flag in a sport that is generally Eurocentric.
“It is vital for Formula 1 that we continue to support the growth in interest in the sport in the USA and in the absence of an American driver a Stars ‘n’ Stripes team fulfills that role. Let’s hope therefore that Haas is on the up in this final part of the season, and maybe they can even get a good result at their home race in Austin.”
Brawn believes that such a target in the U.S. Grand Prix is realistic after Haas showed an improvement in race pace in Russia.
“Kevin Magnussen’s ninth place, even though it came after a five-second penalty, was the first time the team had scored since Germany,” he said. “It was a shame that Romain Grosjean, who was brilliant in Saturday’s qualifying, took virtually no part in the race, as he was the innocent victim of a collision with Antonio Giovinazzi shortly after the start.
“After finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship last year, the American team started this season with the hope of consolidating its progress, but unfortunately they seem to be going backwards, especially in the races, although they’ve been a bit better in qualifying.
“At one point it seemed the team was in a vicious circle from a technical point of view, but Gunther Steiner’s men are back on track, dismantling the puzzle pieces put in place to date and reassembling the jigsaw all over again.”