The fledgling Haas team made their highly impressive debut in 2016, and in the process became the first all-American-led F1 team in three decades. Founded by industrialist Gene Haas, they are based in the United States on the same Kannapolis, North Carolina facility as his championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, Stewart-Haas Racing. The team also have a UK base in Marussia’s former factory in Banbury. Power for the team’s cars comes from Ferrari, with whom Haas have a multi-year technical agreement. This also sees the Scuderia provide them with transmission and various other parts, as well as support. Team principal is former Red Bull and Jaguar F1 technical chief Guenther Steiner, ex-Marussia members Dave O’Neill and Rob Taylor are team manager and technical director respectively, while chief aerodynamicist is former Ferrari man Ben Agathangelou.
Rapid year-on-year progress continues with a move up to fifth in the final standings – and it could have been fourth were it not for unnecessary errors. Botched pit stops for both cars in Australia rob them of their best-ever race result, while a fuel infringement and an illegal floor lead to disqualifications in the US and Italy respectively. Highly promising nonetheless.
Romain Grosjean pairs up with a new team mate in the form of feisty Dane Kevin Magnussen and Haas prove that their maiden campaign was no flash in the pan, scoring 47 points – 18 more than in 2016 – to retain eighth place in the standings.
Field an experienced driver line-up for their inaugural season, securing the services of Romain Grosjean, a ten-time podium finisher with Lotus, and former Sauber racer and Ferrari tester Esteban Gutierrez. It all comes together in stunning fashion, with Grosjean finishing sixth and fifth in the team’s first two races, and going on to score a further three times to put them a highly respectable eighth in the final constructors’ table - the best debut by a new team this century.