Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer is still unhappy at the Haas business model in Formula 1 despite his own team’s decision to closely replicate last year’s Mercedes.
The 2020 Racing Point car is extremely similar to the championship-winning a decision that technical director Andy Green explained was taken to follow the same development path because the team already uses the Mercedes rear end. Szafnauer’s team has previously been outspoken about how closely Haas works with Ferrari in a similar capacity, but he said those reservations stand because he believes Racing Point is doing things differently.
“I don’t think it is ironic,” Szafnauer said. “We copied the Red Bull in the past too, but we copy it within the rules. So we see what they are doing, we take pictures, we try to understand it, we run it in the tunnel, and we do it ourselves.
“I think it is different. We are adding people. We are soon going to be at 500 (employees). The people that we are adding is all about design, development and manufacturing so we can develop our own. So although everyone says you copied a Mercedes, it is our own. It is our own design and it is our own development. It is our own wind tunnel model. It is our own concept.
“Yes, we look to see what is fast. We thought: that’s fast, can we do the same. No different than what we did with the Red Bull when we ran a high-rake concept. But the development is our own. We will add another 100 people so we can continue our own development. It is a little bit different than what they do.
“You can’t have a couple of hundred people and design your own car and develop your own car. It just doesn’t work that way.”
Szafnauer says purchasing parts is not an area of concern – both Haas and Racing Point outsource a lot of manufacturing – and that the original design of items are the area of contention.
“We don’t have a massive manufacturing capability, we buy as well,” he said. “But we buy from people that machine the parts. It is about design and development. It is the size of your model design and making capability for a wind tunnel. It is the size of your aerodynamic team.
“Our aerodynamic team total – total – is bigger than their entire team. So where are they getting it from? It is different, trust me it is different.”