[F1 2018 VIDEO FEATURE] HAAS F1 TEAM: HOMEWARD BOUND

American team Haas heads to Austin, Texas with confidence, its plans for 2019 set; drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen locked-in.

…and the squad is now within striking distance of the 100-point barrier – for the first time in any of its three seasons to-date.

Haas has built solidly on its performance since its debut season in 2016, when it earned 29 points – Grosjean the sole scorer – before Magnussen joined in 2017, the pair currently on 84 points post-Japan.

2018 has been a wild ride, starting from Australia – and Melbourne’s Albert Park, where Magnussen started fifth, Grosjean sixth; but both retired from the race with loose wheels after botched pit stops.

AUDIO QUOTE (English) KEVIN MAGNUSSEN,
F1 DRIVER, HAAS:
“I’d almost like to say that Australia was a highlight, but it obviously didn’t end well. But qualifying as well as we did, and getting a good start and doing most of the race in P4, on actual merit, was pretty special.”

Magnussen has since earned 53 points, scoring at nine of the 17 races run, almost double Grosjean’s haul of 31. The Frenchman now resurgent after a nightmare start - including embarrassing crashes in the Azerbaijan, Spanish and British Grands Prix.

The team heading to the FIA’s International Court of Appeal on November 1st to fight Grosjean’s disqualification from sixth at Monza due to an illegal floor.

…while Haas heads into the final four events with a car capable of being consistently quick – one that could help it to beat Renault to fourth in the constructors’, just eight points the gap. 

AUDIO QUOTE (English) KEVIN MAGNUSSEN,
F1 DRIVER, HAAS:
“We now know the car pretty well and know its limitations, know its strengths, so generally it’s been pretty good in most kind of tracks, so especially towards the end of the first half we showed that we could be good at both high speed and low speed.”

Both drivers being retained for 2019 ensures that the team’s development is prioritised, something not to be underestimated. 

SOUNDBITE: (English) MARK PRESTON, 
F1 TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, 2006-2008:
“I think stability, even though maybe it sounds boring, but stability, specialization, all those things that are, the top teams have, is why they’re strong.”

But fourth is likely as high as Haas can go in its current guise, as a Ferrari-aligned customer with a Dallara chassis, limited workforce and one of the sport’s leanest budgets – last year’s clocked at £100 million British pounds.

… just 3-million more than minnow squad Force India.

One thing Haas hasn’t got yet is an American driver, something that holds it back from achieving a higher profile Stateside.
The obvious place to look being IndyCar: with options like 2017 champion, Josef Newgarden, who is big box office.

Five-time champion Scott Dixon, who expressed his interest in F1 when Fernando Alonso competed in last year’s Indy 500… 

SOUNDBITE (English) SCOTT DIXON,
5-TIME INDYCAR CHAMPION:
“Formula 1 for me is never really been an option. I think for most people, once you’re kind of in your series, it sticks that way. But, obviously right now with what Alonso’s doing, it definitely opens some options and maybe Honda can give me a ride in Formula 1.”

Or even Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, who has hybrid-era F1 experience – with Caterham, before starting five races for Manor Marussia in 2015.

For now, Haas retains its European lineup and continues to deliver great bang for buck performance – something American fans can be immensely proud of as the team heads home.